Denver Broncos' Marshall kneels in protest during national anthem
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[September 09, 2016]
(Reuters) - Denver Broncos
linebacker Brandon Marshall became the latest athlete to kneel
during the U.S. national anthem in a protest against social
injustice before his team's game against the Carolina Panthers on
Marshall, following in the path of San Francisco 49ers quarterback
Colin Kaepernick, knelt on the sideline before the anthem began, and
remained in that position while his team mates stood to his left.
"The message is I'm against social injustice," Marshall said after
the game, according to NFL.com. "I'm not against the military or
police or America at all. I'm against social injustice and I feel
like this was the right thing to do."
Marshall, who is black, is the third NFL player to not stand during
the national anthem since Kaepernick began his sideline protest
against racial injustice and police brutality.
Kaepernick's teammate Eric Reid joined in the protest during the
49ers' pre-season finale last week while Seattle Seahawks cornerback
Jeremy Lane sat on the bench last week against the Oakland Raiders.
The NFL's opening week resumes Sunday with 13 games and some
players, including Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin and defensive end
Cliff Avril have said they are considering not standing during the
national anthem before their game against Miami.
Many Americans saw Kaepernick's gesture as a sign of disrespect to
the flag and criticism was widespread, but he has also been
supported by several fellow athletes, including Megan Rapinoe, a
white soccer player who knelt before her game on Sunday.
"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.
Marshall, who was Denver's second-leading tackler during their run
to a Super Bowl title last season and a teammate of Kaepernick at
the University of Nevada, said last week that he supported
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Broncos inside linebacker Brandon Marshall (54) kneels during the
national anthem next to defensive end Jared Crick (93) and defensive
tackle Billy Winn (97) and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis (99) before
the game against the Carolina Panthers at Sports Authority Field at
Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
"Brandon is a great kid. He is a leader of this team," Broncos head
coach Gary Kubiak said after the game. "I believe in our guys and I
believe in them wholeheartedly. We move forward."
The use of force by police against African-Americans in cities such
as Baltimore, New York, and Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked periodic
and sometimes destructive protests in the past two years and
prompted the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Kaepernick led San Francisco to a Super Bowl berth in 2013 but has
since been demoted to backup. He played in nine games last season
and had more turnovers than touchdowns.
But since he began his protests during the preseason Kaepernick's
jersey has become the top-selling jersey on the National Football
League's official online store.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Simon
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