Star Broncos’ defender Brandon Marshall took a knee during the national anthem, following in the footsteps of several other players.
He lost a major endorsement deal.
He said to have received far more negative reactions than positive.
But Denver Broncos’ linebacker Brandon Marshall wouldn’t change a thing from Thursday night’s game.
Joining Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, and Jeremy Lane, Marshall dropped to a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequality.
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Despite the unsurprising backlash he’s received, the 27-year-old defended his actions, via ProFootballTalk.com.
"“As far as my patriotism, we have freedom of speech in this land.” Marshall told reporters. “You can do whatever you want to do; that’s the beautiful thing. I can have my own beliefs. I can do what I want to do, so at the same time people can question my patriotism, but I have the utmost respect for this country, for this land and the military. I’m not against any of those entities at all.”"
Exercising his First Amendment rights should at the very least be respected, but Marshall nonetheless watched as the harsh criticisms rolled in on social media.
"“I definitely got more negative,” Marshall said. “It’s tough because I didn’t read all the comments. I had so many comments on Twitter and Instagram, I couldn’t go through all of them. I had a lot of positive text messages, but as far a social media, I had a lot of negative, racist comments. A lot of people calling me the ‘N’ word and calling me all kind of derogatory terms. It is what it is. There is a lot of hate out there. I’m not here to spread hate or negativity, I’m here to spread positivity.”"
And what’s more, Marshall was released from his endorsement deal with Air Academy Federal Credit Union.
Taking a peaceful stand for what you believe in is at the foreground of what the United States is all about. Marshall, like the others, did so and suffered the unfortunate consequences.
"“I just want people to stand up for what they believe in and stand up for what they feel is right,” Marshall said. “I feel this is right. I’m hoping that other players will take a stand as well, but not just take a stand, but actually actively do something in the community.”"
It’ll undoubtedly be challenging to protest on the first Sunday of the regular season – the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – but Marshall still hopes that additional NFL players will follow Kaepernick’s lead.