Tampa Bay Bucs receiver Mike Evans has joined the ranks of national-anthem protesters in the NFL, though his reasons for doing so differ slightly from those we’ve heard before.
Evans sat during the anthem Sunday before his team played the Chicago Bears because, he explained afterward, he was disgusted with the election of Donald Trump last week.
“I’m not big on politics or anything like that, but I told myself, ‘If this happens, America is not right right now,'” Evans said on Trump being elected. “I said this a long time ago — when he ran, I thought it was a joke. The joke continues.”
He added, “It’s not about the Republican party or the Democratic party or anything like that. It’s just who he is. It’s well-documented what he’s done. I’m not gonna stand for something I don’t believe in. That’s the end of that.”
Evans, who made clear that he had no problem with soldiers or veterans, is taking a stance that’s quite different from that of national-anthem-protest trailblazer Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick has spoken out against racial injustice but chose not to vote in last week’s election and said he didn’t care who became president.
Evans’ protest, like most anti-Trump protests around the nation, is less about concrete goals and more about expressing frustration. People are mad that the country elected someone who has again and again revealed himself as a bigot, to the point that he earned an endorsement from the KKK, and they want to convey that anger however they can.
It sounds as if the receiver will be sitting during the anthem for quite a while:
He said that as long as Trump is the president-elect, he’ll refuse to stand, saying, “When [actor] Ashton Kutcher comes out and says, ‘We’ve been Punk’d,’ I’ll stand again, but I won’t stand anymore.”