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.
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.
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.”
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.