DENVER (CBS4) – Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall kneeled during the National Anthem at the start of Thursday night’s season opener.

Brandon Marshall (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Mark Haas interviews Brandon Marshall in the Broncos locker room on Thursday night. (credit: CBS)

Andra Day sang the anthem at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, and the television broadcast showed Marshall on one knee as other Broncos teammates were standing.

Singer Andra Day performs the National Anthem before the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 8, 2016. (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Singer Andra Day performs the national anthem before the Denver Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 8, 2016. (credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

All of the players on the Carolina Panthers appeared to be standing as well.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand for the national anthem during the preseason has sent shockwaves through the NFL, and some players have followed suit. Kaepernick said he is doing it as a protest against the way African-Americans and other minorities are treated in American society.

Marshall talked about his decision to kneel in the locker room after the game.

“I’m not against the military, I’m not against the police or America. I’m just against social injustice,” Marshall said.

Inside linebacker Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench in the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 8, 2016.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Inside linebacker Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench in the first half against the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sept. 8, 2016. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Marshall said he will continue to refuse to stand during the anthem at the start of games. He said he also plans to donate an “undisclosed amount” of money to charities that help veterans.

“I’m going to be active in this,” Marshall said.

The Denver Broncos released a statement about the matter to NBC, the network broadcasting the game:

While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the national anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision.

Marshall was a teammate of Kaepernick’s when he played college football at Nevada, and he said their personal relationship played a factor in his action.

“Colin is my fraternity brother, my ex-teammate, and I believe in what he’s trying to do. I believe in his actions. So I definitely want to stand by him,” Marshall said.

Brandon Marshall (credit: CBS)

Brandon Marshall during the Broncos Super Bowl 50 parade (credit: CBS)

Marshall left the game midway through the second quarter with an injury. He was taken to the locker room and was evaluated for a concussion, but was cleared to return. The Broncos wound up winning the game 21-20 after a last second missed field goal by the Panthers, but all anyone wanted to ask Marshall about in the locker room afterwards was the statement he made before the game started.

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Eric Reid, Kaepernick’s 49ers teammate, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane also chose not to stand during the anthem during preseason games after Kaepernick first did so. A few other NFL players have stated they plan to stage similar protests at upcoming games.

“I feel like this is the right platform. This is our only platform to really be heard. And I feel a lot of times people want us to just shut up and entertain them, shut up and play football. But we have voices as well,” Marshall said. “We’re actually educated individuals that went to college. So when we have an opinion and we speak it, I feel a lot of people bash us for what we have to say.”

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak didn’t take sides when asked after the game about Marshall’s decision.

“I’ll just say this: Brandon is a great kid. He is a leader of this team. I believe in our players, you guys can talk to me about that. I believe in our guys and I believe in them whole-heartedly,” Kubiak said.

The San Francisco 49ers announced on Thursday they are donating $1 million to a pair of Bay Area groups in an effort to improve relationships between law enforcement and local communities.

Comments (373)
  1. Done With It says:

    Fans need to stay home. When the money stops flowing, their position will change and they will be glad to stand.

  2. Bob Finnegan says:

    They are so freaking oppressed with their high salary they can’t stand for the anthem. What a bunch of over paid bench warmers. Cut their salary and cut them from the team.

  3. Karen says:

    Very disappointed, if you are not going to stand stay in the locker room.

  4. Truthhurts says:

    Puts him in the proper position to shine shoes so it has some meaning.

  5. Considering the time he lived in, Jackie Robinson probably had the ‘right’ to torch the flag during the Anthem but of course he didn’t……and he was 1,000 times more effective in getting his message out than multi millionaire crybaby ‘Dr. King’ wannabees ….

  6. larry wagoner says:

    as americans they have rights to do this. But, the nfl is showing its true colors. They shut down the cowboys honoring the police. but, this is growing like wildfire. NFL you need too stop this with the left leaning narrative.

  7. FREEDOM DAWG says:

    Happy to see so many like minded people. Maybe we can get a voice for a change.
    I am turning the NFL off.
    Spread the word.

  8. “kneeled” You have to be kidding me! Are you really a journalist? The proper word is “knelt”!

  9. No more NFL says:

    Yeah, we expect you to shut up and entertain…that is your job. You talk about this being “your” platform? This is OUR platform…we pay for it, we pay your salary. How about you go into “your” neighborhoods and make a change. You have no purpose other than showing your ignorance. Overpaid ball catcher with a 3rd grade education perpetuating victim complexes.

  10. Michael Clifford says:

    Another spoiled coward demonstrating his ignorance. Have any of these overpaid children playing a children’s game ever done anything substantive to serve the country or their “community”. How many have served in the military, worked the streets as cops or firefighters. Yet they pretend to know something about the problem.

    Most of them are multi=millionaires and do not even live in the neighborhoods that they pretend to feel for. Bull Sh** . they are grandstanding, trying to comfort their own consciences that they live a comfortable life in protected neighborhoods.

    It is the cop who is working those combat zones where being in uniform makes them the target while the potential criminals look like everyone else that they interact with. Do you wonder why a cop might over react or act too quickly when virtually anyone they contact might try to kill them. The old axiom “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6” is very real in their job..

    These athletes are like children who think that anyone really cares if they hold their breath until they turn blue. I suggest that they hold their breath until they assume room temperature.


    wont miss the nfl and its 10 million beer commericals and the blatant disrespect for this country…bye bye nfl and you millionaire and billionaires…..

  12. David Knapp says:

    I cancelled television a while back to cut my cable bill. After hearing about this fiasco, I have to say I haven’t missed it. I think I will skip the NFL game my company offers discount tickets for, and I certainly won’t be buying any NFL gear.

    I’m sorry Brandon Marshall, this ISN’T about social injustice, this IS about YOU disrespecting MY country. You totally missed the point here, and while you may or may not pay a penalty to the NFL, I have no respect for you whatsoever and lost what little respect I had for the NFL as well.

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