During the start of the 2016 NFL season, a handful of players stood behind 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and protested the National Anthem by kneeling instead of standing.
Kaepernick and players such as Denver Broncos star Brandon Marshall used their platform as a way to create change and fight for the social injustices and treatment of Black men in America.
Kaepernick stated earlier this season that he will not “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Marshall was in accord with his competitor … that is, until now.
On Sunday night, just before taking on the Oakland Raiders, the athlete honored the American Flag and stood for the Star Spangled Banner. Before the start of the game, Brandon took to Instagram to explain his actions.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” he explained. “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.”
The athlete explained, “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.”
Marshall shared that an organization he will be supporting is the “Idriss Stelley Foundation, a grassroots organization in the Bay Area that offer free support to victims of police violence.”
He added, “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.”