An NFL team’s national anthem singer quit his job, and his explanation has people buzzing

Baltimore Ravens players, including former player Ray Lewis, second from right, kneel down during the playing of the U.S. national anthem before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday Sept. 24, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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An Army veteran and member of the Maryland Army National Guard who was also the national anthem singer for the Baltimore Ravens announced that he is quitting his job Tuesday night because he feels he “do[es] not belong there.”

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Joey Odoms posted on Instagram that he was resigning “as the Official National Anthem Singer of the Baltimore Ravens” because “the tone/actions of a large number of NFL fans in the midst of our country’s cultural crisis, have convinced me that I do not belong there.”

Odoms said he didn’t feel welcomed because of “fans who attack players for protesting.”

“Fans who attack players for protesting, (a right in which I fought to defend) but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning,” he said. “Someone once told me to always ‘go where you’re welcomed.’ This is not an emotional reaction to recent events, rather an ethical decision that part of me regrets but my core knows is the right choice.”

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According to the Washington Post, Odoms served tours in Afghanistan and the Ravens accepted his resignation, saying “We greatly appreciate the work Joey did for us, and we thank him.”

Odoms had been singing the national anthem for the Ravens since 2014.

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