Steelers Stephon Tuitt: ‘Shut out the noise and work’

Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Stephon Tuitt Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Stephon Tuitt came under fire recently for his comments regarding his choice to not kneel during the Anthem. Here’s why the Steelers defensive lineman isn’t phased.

Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt is a player who doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for how important he is to the team. Though Cameron Heyward is the star of the show on the defensive line, Tuitt was playing every bit as good (arguably even better) before suffering a pectoral tear early in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Tuitt’s promising season was cut well short, and we haven’t seen him in action since October 13th of last year. However, the typically quiet defensive lineman is making headlines for different reasons.

Recently, Tuitt voiced his opinion about the American flag, and why he won’t be kneeling for the National Anthem this year. Here’s what he had to say via Twitter:

"Also I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have a problem with that. My grandmother was a immigrant from the Carribean and age worked her a** off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She living good now."

Tuitt clearly has strong opinions about standing for the flag, and he doesn’t care what anyone else has to say. As for those who oppose him on his decision, he’s got a new motto. On Instagram, Tuitt posted a video of him and some of his teammates running through defensive line drills with the caption, “Shut out the Noise and Work.”

Stephon Tuitt clearly doesn’t want to make this political, as he strives to get back to his 2019 form. Before the injury last year, Tuitt had compiled 22 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and 6 quarterback hits in the first five games of the season, according to Pro Football Reference. Now he will look to continue to build on such a promising start to the season.

Though the Steelers lost Javon Hargrave in free agency this year, the return of Tuitt could make up for every bit of his absence and then some. While they don’t play the same position, Tuitt was playing at an All-Pro level before his injury last season.

Unfortunately, health has always been an issue for the big defensive lineman as he has dressed for 16 games just once in his career during his rookie season in 2014. But this doesn’t mean that Tuitt can’t be an improved player after a serious injury last year.

In November of 2016, Cam Heyward suffered the same pectoral injury that Tuitt went through in 2019. The following three seasons for Heyward were the best of his career – earning 3 Pro Bowls and 2 First-team All-Pros from 2017 to 2019.

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There will be fans who either agree or disagree with Tuitt’s decision to stand for the National Anthem this year, but we can all agree that we want him back on the football field. The Steelers defensive lineman was on the verge of stardom before his season was cut short last year. Perhaps we will finally see the potential he can bring to the table in 2020.