The Denver Broncos players have decided they'll stand together for Sunday's national anthem when they host the Oakland Raiders.
“Last week, members of our team joined their brothers around the NFL in a powerful display of unity,” the players said, via the Denver Post. “It was an emotional time for everyone, including the fans who support us each and every week. As controversial as it appeared, we needed to show our collective strength and resolve. Our voice needed to be heard loud and clear.
“We may have different values and beliefs, but there’s one thing we all agree on: We’re a team and we stand together — no matter how divisive some comments and issues can be, nothing should ever get in the way of that. Starting Sunday, we’ll be standing together.”
The team’s leadership council — which is composed of about 20 players including Brandon Marshall, Von Miller, Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, Aqib Talib, Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Brandon McManus — convened Wednesday after practice to discuss their plan going forward.
“It wasn’t an apology or anything like that. We just wanted to state what happened, where our minds were,” Miller said. “I think that’s where the confusion comes from, especially with the fans. We just kind of want to set the record straight why we were doing it and exactly the reasons why and just move forward.”
Last Sunday in Buffalo, 32 Broncos players knelt during the national anthem as a response to President Donald Trump’s comments that NFL owners should fire “son of a bitch” protesters. Some players stood with their hand over their heart. Others stood with their fist raised. A few others stood with their hands placed on the shoulders of kneeling teammates.
The Broncos were among more than 200 players across the league who took a knee during the anthem last weekend in the wake of Trump’s comments. Some teams refused to take the field during the playing of the anthem, while other players, as well as NFL owners, linked arms.