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Broncos’ Brandon Marshall rips Trump, NFL’s new national anthem policy

Author: Paul Klee, The Gazette - May 24, 2018 - Updated: May 25, 2018

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Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall addresses the NFL’s new policy on protests during the national anthem on May 24, 2018. (Paul Klee, The Gazette)

Brandon Marshall, who was the first Denver Broncos player to kneel during the national anthem, on Thursday addressed President Donald Trump’s comments and the NFL’s new policy on national anthem protests.

In the wake of lingering controversy over player protests, the NFL announced new rules Wednesday permitting players to stay in the locker room during the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” but requiring them to stand if they come to the field.

On Thursday morning, Trump had this to say to Fox News about the new NFL rules:

You have to stand proudly for the national anthem and the NFL owners did the right thing, if that’s what they’ve done. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in this country.

The linebacker said this about the president’s comments after an organized team activity session:

Obviously that statement right there is, to me, is, I would say, to me it’s disgusting. I say it’s disgusting because of our amendment rights, our First Amendment rights. You know, we have freedom of speech (and) freedom of protest, so we (should) get kicked out of the country? That’s not how things should work, in my opinion. Just because somebody disagrees with something, or if I didn’t stand for the anthem, or if don’t like what’s going on, that’s basically him saying I should be kicked out of the country. We’re supposed to have conversations about things, talk about things, work things through, you know? Everybody’s not going to agree on things. Everybody’s not going to have the same opinion on things. So just because someone disagrees or has an issue with something that’s going on in this country, doesn’t mean they should leave. That’s absurd, in my opinion.

And Marshall responded to the NFL’s new policy:

I don’t like it. That’s my opinion. I don’t like it. I understand it, though. I don’t like it, but I understand it. I understand what they’re trying to protect. They’re trying to protect the shield. The reason that we did this in the first place was to bring awareness to police brutality. That’s the reason we took a knee, and that was just the symbol. That was the symbol for what was going on, just like the flag is a symbol for America, right? So taking a knee was a symbol, and the work came after that, you know? Colin (Kaepernick) has been doing work, I’ve been doing work, Malcolm Jenkins has been doing work. There’s a bunch of guys doing work. So, to me, the knee wasn’t the end all, be all. There should have been action behind the knee, and there was. It kind of just… I feel like it might make people want to rebel. Just like when Trump said what he said last year, people rebelled. Let’s be clear: I know they say they’ll fine the team. But players don’t care about that. Players don’t care if the team gets fined.

Paul Klee, The Gazette

Paul Klee, The Gazette