Broncos’ Brandon Marshall ends boycott, stands during national anthem

OAKLAND, Calif. — Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall ended his boycott during the national anthem before the team’s games on Sunday.

Marshall stood during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” before Sunday night’s game against the Oakland Raiders instead of taking knee, which he had done in the previous eight games.

Marshall said in a statement he will work to help organizations that are “making a real difference in our community.”

After San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started to sit, then later kneel, when the national anthem is played before football games, Marshall joined in, agreeing to protest what Kaepernick deems are wrongdoings against African-Americans and minorities in the U.S.

Marshall first took a knee in the Broncos’ opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 8.

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. 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—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. 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. One of those organizations is the Idriss Stelley Foundation, a grassroots organization in the Bay Area that offer free support to victims of police violence. 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. I really appreciate the support from my family, teammates, coaches and fans. I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to hear me out. I’m excited for what all of us can accomplish when we truly work together.

A photo posted by Brandon Marshall (@bmarshh54) on

“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. 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—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. 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.

“One of those organizations is the Idriss Stelley Foundation, a grassroots organization in the Bay Area that offer free support to victims of police violence. 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.

“I really appreciate the support from my family, teammates, coaches and fans. I’m grateful for those who have taken the time to hear me out.

“I’m excited for what all of us can accomplish when we truly work together.”

Marshall first took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the regular-season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 8.

On Sept. 9, Air Academy Federal Credit Union said it was ending its relationship with Marshall. Then, CenturyLink terminated its contract with Marshall.  A sporting goods store canceled an in-store appearance.