Rishard Matthews to retire if NFL makes players stand for anthem

Rishard Matthews would rather walk away from the NFL than be forced to end his national anthem protest.

The Titans receiver revealed Thursday he will quit playing football if the NFL implements a new rule requiring players to stand for the national anthem.

Matthews, who has remained in the locker room during the national anthem the past two games, proclaimed his stance while answering a local Nashville producer’s question on Twitter.

"@_RMatthews If NFL makes new rule on anthem... will you stay in locker room and face the fine/penalty?" Matt Parker asked.

RELATED: How NFL players reacted during the national anthem in Week 5

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How NFL players reacted during the national anthem in Week 5
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How NFL players reacted during the national anthem in Week 5
Oct 9, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo (left) and linebacker Anthony Barr (center) sing the national anthem prior to a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Albert Wilson (12) sits during the national anthem before the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 8, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; The New York Jets lock arms for the national anthem before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 08: Rodney McLeod #23, Malcolm Jenkins #27 of the Philadelphia Eagles raise their fists in protest during the playing of the National Anthem as teammate Chris Long #56 shows support before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at Lincoln Financial Field on October 8, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-7. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 08: Xavier Cooper #96 of the San Francisco 49ers and other members of the team kneel during the National Anthem before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Members of the Jacksonville Jaguars stand for the National Anthem before the start of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08: The Los Angeles Rams are seen during the national anthem before the game against the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 8, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 08: Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell, center, stands with arms locked with his team during the playing of the national anthem prior to the start of the game between the Carolina Panthers and the Detroit Lions on October 8, 2017 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Carolina defeated Detroit 27-24. (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: The Minnesota Vikings lock arms during the national anthem prior to the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 08: Eagles S Malcolm Jenkins (27), Eagles S Rodney McLeod (23), and Eagles DE Chris Long (56) stand together during the National Anthem before the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles on October 08, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters (22) sits during the National Anthem before the football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans on October 8, 2017 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Oct 8, 2017; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts players and personnel stand during the playing of the National Anthem before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
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“No I will be done playing football,” Matthews responded.

Matthews quickly deleted the tweet, but not before it was captured and re-posted by journalist Paul Kuharsky.

The 28-year-old receiver has previously said he will not end his protest until Donald Trump apologizes to players for calling those who protest during the anthem “a son of a bitch.”

Matthews grew up in a military household. His father served in the Marines for 23 years and his brother, also a Marine, served in Iraq before he was killed in Afghanistan in 2015 while working as a private defense contractor.

Matthews previously refrained from protesting during the anthem out of respect for his brother, but after Trump’s comments he said his brother would understand his reasoning for doing so moving forward. He also shared patriotic posts on social media honoring his brother, even saluting after scoring a touchdown last season two days after Veteran’s Day.

Matthews, a college teammate of Colin Kaepernick, has also been vocal in his support for the former 49ers quarterback who started the national protest movement and remains without a job.

“Proud of My Brother @kaepernick7 for Sacrificing to begin a movement that is very much needed,” Matthews posted to Instagram. “Continue being the voice of the people & encouraging us to speak up as well! #ImWithKap All About The People Without A Voice!”

Matthews, who pledged to donate $75,000 to organizations that support oppressed communities, has repeatedly engaged with fans on Twitter discussing his and other players’ national anthem protests and explaining their reasoning behind doing so.

“It's very unfortunate that fans choose not to watch because players are exercising their rights!” Matthews posted in a string of Tweets on Oct. 5. “Just shows you we still have a long way to go in this country, but I believe in this country and we'll eventually get it corrected. Don't worry I don't hate you for your views as you me. Love thy neighbor as much as you love yourself!”

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