Brandon Marshall put his ballot behind the political message he carried through his two-month long protest.
The Denver Broncos starting inside linebacker and on-field defensive signal caller did vote. He said it wasn’t just the presidential election that drew his interest him, but several ballot issues and a sense of responsibility to this country.
We can all pretty well guess what he thought of how the presidential race turned out.
“Not as I would have expected,’’ Marshall told 9NEWS on Thursday, two days after Donald Trump got the electoral college nod over Hillary Clinton. “I didn’t think it was going to be close. I thought Hillary was going to blow him out of the water.
“I did vote. I voted for Hillary. My biggest thing was with Trump he has no political experience at all. And then he said things that were racist, prejudiced, and these type of comments and I guess, we let it fly. I guess it proves you don’t have to be politically correct.’’
Denver defensive end Derek Wolfe said Wednesday he was pleased Trump was elected. Like any business office in this country, the employees were not in unanimous agreement.
When Marshall decided to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem through the Broncos’ first eight games this season, he did so to bring awareness to what he perceived was social injustice in this country. Specifically, he referred to the numerous fatal shootings of black people by police officers.
Although he carefully considered the consequences before he went forward with his protest, Marshall admitted he was surprised by some of the reaction.
“I think I underestimated the first time I did it, the backlash,’’ he said. “Because it was Thursday Night Football, opener for the whole league as far as the regular season goes. And then I re-watched the tape and they (NBC cameras) showed me. I think that’s what put it over the top. If they didn’t show me but people talked about it, it wouldn’t have been as bad. But they showed me on camera and it was like, “Look at this dude, right here.’
“I get back to my locker and I got 100-plus text messages, tweets, Instagram, notifications, people were calling me all kinds of names.’’
Citing he accomplished his goal of raising awareness and helping in a small way to cause law enforcement to reconsider its techniques, Marshall decided to end his protest last week when the Broncos played at Oakland.
For many Bronco fans, maybe even most of them, they didn’t care about Marshall’s political stance as whether the ordeal affected his play.
“The only thing it probably distracted me from is maybe some preparation,’’ he said. “You’re dealing with all this -- you have to talk to the media and have to do different things. So I think it might have taken away from that. It was a bit of a distraction. If you say it’s not, then I’m not being honest with you.’’
To show how sensitive and polarizing the issue Marshall brought attention to, he’s now getting criticized for ending his protest.
“I have people calling me, ‘’sellout’’ and this and that,’’ he said. “My thing is if I’m a sellout what about people that never did (take a position). I’m really out in the community. I’m really doing things. I sat with the chief of police. I’m active.’’
It was Marshall’s meeting with Denver police chief Robert White on Sept. 13 that swayed some public opinion into becoming a little more sympathetic towards his efforts as it demonstrated he was genuine in his concern.
“I was happy to see the Denver Police Department decide to review their use-of-force policy,’’ Marshall said. “I would say as far as the kneeling went, it was just a symbol to bring awareness to a real issue. For us to create change we have to get out and do the legwork.’’