Walker and the Titans were one of three teams to stay off the field for the national anthem on Sunday, while numerous teams performed other gestures for the pregame ritual. Some players around the league kneeled, some stood and some linked arms with coaches and team owners. The protests came two days after President Donald Trump made public comments criticizing NFL players for kneeling during the anthem, suggesting that team owners should fire players who do so.
While the reception over the weekend was split publicly, some fans said they were boycotting the NFL.
"First off, I'm going to say this: We're not disrespecting the military, the men and women that serve in the Army," Walker told reporters this week, according to the Tennessean. "That's not what it's all about. If you look at most of the guys in here - I've been in the USO. I support the troops. This is not about that. It's about equal rights, and that's all everyone is trying to show, is that we all care about each other."
"And the fans that don't want to come to the game? I mean, OK. Bye. I mean, if you feel that's something, we're disrespecting you, don't come to the game. You don't have to. No one's telling you to come to the game. It's your freedom of choice to do that."
Walker released another statement Thursday on Instagram, saying that he has received death threats after making those comments.
"The Tennessee Titans fans are the best in the NFL," Walker said in the post. "What we do on the field every Sunday would mean nothing without knowing we are supported by the city of Nashville and the fans that have been by our side over the years."
"One of the many things I gained from spending time in the Middle East on the NFL's USO Tour this spring, is an appreciation for America's core values and an even greater appreciation for the men and women that defend those values. In being asked about our team's decision on Sunday to stay in the locker room for the National Anthem, I used strong words to defend our right to make our own choices. Both my choice to spark dialogue for positive change and the fans' choice to attend our games. It's that freedom of choice that makes our democracy the envy of many around the world."
"The death threats that my family and I have received since my comments are heartbreaking. The racist and violent words directed at me and my son only serve as another reminder that our country remains divided and full of hateful rhetoric. These words of hate will only fuel me in my efforts to continue my work reaching out to different community groups, listening to opposing voices, and honoring the men and women in the Armed Forces who risk their lives every day so that we may have this dialogue."
"I am proud to represent the many faces of Titans fans and believe that only through a more respectful discourse can we achieves the goals of unity, peace and racial equality that I know we all strive for."
Walker traveled to southwest Asia in April with the USO to meet service members. On Sept. 11 he posted an Instagram video asking his followers to send a message of support to those service members, which he called "our nation's heroes."
"God bless America," Walker said at the end of the video.
The Titans said in a statement Friday that they are aware of the threats and sent them to NFL security, according to ESPN.