Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is the latest NFL player to kneel during the U.S. national anthem in protest of the country’s oppression of minorities.
Marshall, a University of Nevada teammate of Colin Kaepernick (who started the anthem silent protest this preseason), kneeled during the NFL season opener between Denver and the Carolina Panthers. No other player on either team joined Marshall by taking a kneel.
The Broncos released a statement revealing they respect Marshall’s decision:
“While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the National Anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision,” the Broncos said in a statement.
The 26-year-old told 247 Sports he understands where Kaepernick was coming from and supported him on the issue.
“I support Colin. I support ‘Kaep.’ I understand where he’s coming from,” Marshall said. “I definitely see what he’s saying. I support him on that. I’m not mad at him for that. Some people are bashing him on the Internet, but I’m not bashing him at all. I support him.
Marshall certainly showed support kneeling during the NFL’s first game of the season. The 2012 fifth-round pick isn’t the only player to show support for the stance, as Kaepernick’s 49ers teammate Eric Reid joined him during a preseason game against the Chargers. Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane also silently protested in the preseason and his Seattle teammates might be joining him in their season opener.
Marshall might get killed by certain media types and fans for his protest, but it’s a courageous, admirable protest. As more games occur, I’d bet we’ll see significantly more players kneel during the anthem.