BUFFALO—Denver Broncos’ chief executive officer Joe Ellis has issued a statement Saturday night supporting his players for taking a stand on social issues in this country in light of President Trump suggesting NFL owners should fire players who disrespect the National Anthem.
“Our players have shown a tremendous commitment to raising awareness for important societal issues by using their platform in a positive way,’’ Ellis stated. “In addition to their hard work off the field, we have great admiration for their dedication to making our team the absolute best it can be. They’ve made incredible sacrifices to reach this level, and we recognize they give their all to our team and our fans each and every day.
“As an organization, we could not be more proud, appreciative and grateful for our players. We’ll continue to support them and work together to advocate for values of respect, diversity and inclusion.’’
During a political rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump suggested a fan boycott if players don’t stand for the National Anthem.
“If you see it, even it’s one player, leave the stadium,’’ Trump said.
Ellis did not mention Trump or his remarks in his statement, nor did he single out Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who was the lone Denver player who followed Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial inequality last year by kneeling during the National Anthem through the first half of last season.
Trump also said at his rally: "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'’’
His comments have incited responses ranging from stunned bafflement to outrage from many NFL players on social media. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL owners have described Trump’s comments as “divisive.’’