The NFL season went live Thursday night with the national anthem protests continuing to grow as Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee during the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Marshall, a former college teammate of Colin Kaepernick at the University of Nevada, has been supportive of the 49ers quarterback and his protest.
Here’s what Marshall had to say last month to the Colorado Springs Gazette:
“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. “Kaep, he’s using his platform how he wants to use it, to reach the masses. We have freedom of speech. But then we use our platform, and we get bashed for it. It’s almost like they want us to only go with the grain. And once we go against the grain, it’s an issue. I feel for Kaep. I understand where he’s coming from, and I support him.”
“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 immediately following the protest.
Update, Sept. 8, 2016: Marshall left the game after colliding with the Carolina Panthers’ Fozzy Whittaker.
The Broncos linebacker was eventually cleared and returned to the game.