DENVER (CBS4) – All players stood during the national anthem Saturday night ahead of the Broncos third preseason game.
Before the game against the Green Bay Packers, there was talk that linebacker Brandon Marshall, among others, may take a knee in response to what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as other issues across the country, as other players have done this season.
He ended his protest in Oakland, “not because everything is perfect, or because I’m changing my stance on things,” he posted to Instagram at the time, “but because of my hope for what we can become.”
For the 1st half of the season, I’ve been taking a knee for the National Anthem to raise awareness for social injustice and to start conversation about what all of us can do to make a positive change. I’m encouraged with the many productive discussions and progress that has taken place as the Denver Police department has decided to review its use of force policy. I’m proud to have joined so many of my peers throughout sports who’ve also made their own statements. Going forward, I will be standing for the National Anthem—not because everything is perfect, or because I'm changing my stance on things. But because of my hope for what we can become. Just because I am standing doesn't mean the work will end. There’s much work to be done. I’ll continue to recognize and support organizations that are stepping up as leaders and making a real difference in our community, and I will do my part to be there for those in need. One of those organizations is the Idriss Stelley Foundation, a grassroots organization in the Bay Area that offer free support to victims of police violence. I’ll be standing for them and the family of the late O’Shaine Evans—on Sunday night in addition to making a donation from my Tackle Change program to further the meaningful work of this group. I really appreciate the support from my family, teammates, coaches and fans. I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to hear me out. I’m excited for what all of us can accomplish when we truly work together.
Broncos President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway said, that “everybody has their right to do what they wish to do, and their beliefs are their beliefs, that’s why we live in this country. We’ll respect that and whatever you want to do is alright with us.”
Elway commented on the issue during a joint practice with the San Francisco 49ers last week. Former 49ers player Colin Kaepernick was the first player to take a stand against racial injustice by kneeling during a preseason game last year.
Marshall and other players followed Kaepernick’s lead in kneeling.
Elway said he’s proud of how Marshall handled his demonstration on and off the field.
“Brandon made a point last year, but he carried it forward,” Elway said. “He didn’t make a stand on the field before the games, he actually went out in the community and did something, and talked to law enforcement, and has gotten involved in the community.”