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By Melissa Garcia

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Denver Broncos players will stand together at the team’s upcoming game against the Oakland Raiders, head coach Vance Joseph said on Thursday.

The announcement came after 32 Broncos players kneeled during the National Anthem last Sunday as part of a nationwide protest against inequality.

img 2012 Broncos Head Coach: Players Will Stand At Next Game

(credit: CBS)

The Denver Broncos will take on the Oakland Raiders at Mile High Stadium on Sunday.

Players who took a knee during the Star Spangled Banner in New York before the game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday had some longtime fans expressing strong reaction.

l kneeling controversy 5sot frame 585 Broncos Head Coach: Players Will Stand At Next Game

Broncos head coach Vance Joseph (credit: CBS)

Jerry Lauritzen, a disabled Air Force veteran, was outraged.

He took down his Broncos flags and turned off the game because he felt disrespected.

Thursday, the Broncos released a statement on Twitter saying the silent protest was in no way a protest of the military, the American flag, or those who keep us safe. The statement went on to say that inequalities still exist, and “we have work to do in all forms of social justice.”

img 2013 Broncos Head Coach: Players Will Stand At Next Game

(credit: CBS)

Joseph said that starting Sunday, the players will stand together.

“(The protest) started with good intentions. But it’s been so negative. How can you make true change with this toxic environment? So, that was the conversation. So, let’s get back to playing football. Let’s get back to standing for the Anthem. And then, moving forward, we can probably make change,” Joseph told reporters.

Thursday night’s game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers will open with the national anthem.

The Packers players planned to link arms in a show of unity.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

Comments (4)
  1. got them folk back in line? taught them a lesson?

  2. Louis King says:

    The players have the right to protest. Their protest has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag. I spent 20 years, 17 days defending their right to stand, sit or kneel during the anthem or any other time. USAF Ret.

    1. RE: Broncos Head Coach: Broncos Will Stand at Next Game…Louis, you are the true patriot who understands both the Constitution and what is going on in the real world. As to the Broncos, it’s so sad. I really feel sorry for coach Vance Joseph. He has worked so hard all his life to become a head coach and now that he has achieved that goal, he is not only forced to choose between his entire life’s struggles and whether he should keep his mouth shut and repress what’s in his soul, but is also placed in the position of “overseer” of all black players and of all white players who would like to kneel or otherwise express their love for justice and their disdain of injustice and inequality or being the “house” guy. Whether of his own volition or under duress by the ownership, John Elway, too, has chosen to elevate football above faithfulness and fidelity to the ideals of justice and equality, ideals which form the backbone of our Constitution, our values, and of our national soul.

      Bronco management says that they will “stand together to bring positive change,” but starting out by denying grown men the ability to express themselves, to speak out against societal injustices that have persisted since this nation’s founding is to revisit what was physical slavery then, but which has now morphed into the slavery and the shackling of the spirit. Is it all about money — or some combination of both?

      Arguments about disrespect of the flag and disrespect of the military are merely red herrings to distract from us from dealing with perpetual racial injustices and to maintain a system of white privilege, i.e., white supremacy. The flag is “disrespected” daily by veterans who wear flag jackets and bandanas and vests and by their women who wear flag bras and bikinis and all manner of flag paraphenalia. Do not and have not blacks and Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and other served and died under that same flag?

      The “flag huggers” are not outraged when police wantonly kill blacks, minorities and (lest we forget), poor whites — with impunity. Many protested in favor of or condoned the armed standoff by the people of WACO and even the BUNDYs, who threatened police and others and who had been charged with crimes — but not only cannot find it in their heart to extend that same support to unarmed blacks and other minority men and women brutalized or killed, but instead, ACCUSE THEM of being the problem. May God have mercy on their souls, for unless they change, there will be much “wailing and gnashing of teeth,” for they WILL reap what you have sown, both in the here-and-now and in the hereafter.

  3. Too late. I’m done with the NFL. They can buy their own tickets. I’m not paying to see their political opinions crammed down my throat.

    #ByeFelicia

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