22 September, 2016
Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos followed in the footsteps of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by choosing not to stand Thursday night during the national anthem in the first game of the 2016 regular season.
Marshall knelt during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before the Super Bowl champion Broncos' season-opening 21-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Denver on Thursday night.
After the game, Marshall, a college teammate of Kaepernick's at Nevada told the press, "I'm not against the military, police or America". It seems Marshall is showing support for his fellow National Football League player Colin Kaepernick, who made a decision to sit during the Star Spangled Banner in protest of social injustice of African-Americans and other minorities.
Marshall said he respects the military, which fought for his freedoms, including the rights of free speech and peaceful protest.
Marshall was the most recent athlete to take a knee and as of Friday afternoon he had lost his endorsement deal with Air Academy Federal Credit Union over the protest. "We wish Brandon well in his future endeavours".
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After the matchup, Marshall said he finalized his decision after talking to his family regarding the protest.
He said he continues to receives messages of support and criticism for his actions and that he "absolutely" understands the passion of those who have either criticized him or supported him in recent days. "What's the end game for me to be able to get out, do what I need to do and feel good about the change that maybe I effected?" I'm against social injustice. This is our only platform to really be heard. I can say what I feel like saying. But we have voices as well.
Like Kaepernick more recently, Marshall chose to kneel, rather than sit, to greater demonstrate respect for the armed forces.
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe, the 31-year-old midfielder known best as a member of the U.S. Women's National Team, also knelt during Seattle Reign's match against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday.
"People that are minorities, they don't know what it's like to be a minority in this country", Marshall said, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post.