Broncos linebacker explains why he's no longer going to kneel during the national anthem
Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was one of several NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem this season to raise awareness toward social injustice.
Following Colin Kaepernick's lead, Marshall gained attention because he was one of the first players to be seen doing it when the Broncos and Carolina Panthers opened up the NFL regular season on September 8.
However, in the Broncos' Week 9 loss to the Oakland Raiders, Marshall was standing during the national anthem for the first time this season.
Marshall explained in an Instagram post on Sunday when he's changing his stance, citing "productive discussions and progress" with Denver police to reexamine their "use of force policy." Marshall wrote in the caption:
"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."
During the national anthem, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak stood next to Marshall in a display of solidarity. NBC reported during the game that Kubiak wanted to show his respect for how Marshall has handled his protest and the attention that comes with it.
According to ESPN, Marshall has been donating money to organizations that work with youth for every tackle he makes this season.