DENVER (CBS4) – Players from both the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders stood during the national anthem before Sunday’s game.
“Starting Sunday, we’ll be standing together,” the Broncos tweeted last Thursday as part of a message from the players.
While all Broncos players stood before Sunday’s game, linebacker Brandon Marshall with his fist in the air, Marshawn Lynch of the Raiders sat on the bench as he normally does, surrounded by team staff.
Across the league last weekend, players on all teams took a knee, locked arms, or placed a hand on a teammate’s shoulder in a show of support in a protest against what they perceive as racial inequality in the country.
Thirty-two Broncos players participated in the protest.
Other teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers, refused to even take the field during the anthem, instead opting to stay in the locker room.
The protests began last year with then-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, but grew in size last weekend after President Donald Trump said players who take a knee should be fired by team owners. Trump repeated his opinion several times through week on camera and on Twitter.
“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED,” Trump tweeted.