Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall first took a knee during the national anthem prior to the Week 1 Thursday Night Football matchup between Denver and the Carolina Panthers. Before the Broncos’ Sunday Night Football game against the Oakland Raiders, Marshall announced via his Instagram account that he will resume standing for the national anthem.
“Going forward, I will be standing for the national anthem — not because everything is perfect, or because I'm changing my stance on things,” Marshall said. “But because of my hope for what we can become.”
For the 1st half of the season, I’ve been taking a knee for the National Anthem to raise awareness for social injustice and to start conversation about what all of us can do to make a positive change. I’m encouraged with the many productive discussions and progress that has taken place as the Denver Police department has decided to review its use of force policy. I’m proud to have joined so many of my peers throughout sports who’ve also made their own statements. Going forward, I will be standing for the National Anthem—not because everything is perfect, or because I'm changing my stance on things. But because of my hope for what we can become. Just because I am standing doesn't mean the work will end. There’s much work to be done. I’ll continue to recognize and support organizations that are stepping up as leaders and making a real difference in our community, and I will do my part to be there for those in need. One of those organizations is the Idriss Stelley Foundation, a grassroots organization in the Bay Area that offer free support to victims of police violence. I’ll be standing for them and the family of the late O’Shaine Evans—on Sunday night in addition to making a donation from my Tackle Change program to further the meaningful work of this group. I really appreciate the support from my family, teammates, coaches and fans. I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to hear me out. I’m excited for what all of us can accomplish when we truly work together.
When Marshall began his protest, he made it clear that it he was simply taking a stand against social injustice.
"I'm not against the military. I'm not against the police or America," Marshall said, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. "I'm against social injustice."
In Marshall’s Instagram statement about his decision to resume standing for the anthem, he said he will continue to work to support organizations that are making a difference in their communities. He identified the Idriss Stelley Foundation, which offers free support to victims of police violence in the Bay Area, as one such organization.
Marshall said that when he stands for the anthem on Sunday, it will be in support of the work of the foundation.
“I’ll be standing for them and the family of the late O’Shaine Evans — on Sunday night in addition to making a donation from my Tackle Change program to further the meaningful work of this group,” Marshall said in his statement.
Evans was a 26-year-old man who was shot and killed by San Francisco police in 2014.
Marshall joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who began the movement during the preseason.
"I'll continue to sit," Kaepernick said. "I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change.”
While Marshall’s protest will be ending, Kaepernick and other athletes continue their protest of social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.