ENGLEWOOD - For a guy who has suddenly become the Most Hated Man in Colorado and keeps losing money, Brandon Marshall sure seemed at peace Monday.
“It’s a hateful world,’’ Marshall said, the Denver Broncos’ starting middle linebacker who protested what he perceives as social injustice in this country by kneeling rather than standing for the National Anthem on Thursday night. “I’m not here to spread hate. I’m not here to respond to the hate. I’m here to spread love and positivity. I’m a likeable guy. I was once a fan favorite for a reason. It’s cool because people can call me the N-word or cuss at me or say they wish I would break my neck all they want. There’s no backlash from me. Hate can’t drive out hate. Only love can drive out hate.”
Using the National Anthem as the platform to protest social injustice was a movement started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The root of Kaepernick’s discontent is how people of color have been mistreated, specifically mentioning how there are “bodies in the street and (policemen) getting paid leave and getting away with murder.’’
Kapernick and Marshall were college teammates at the University of Nevada. With 25.4 million viewers tuned in to the Broncos-Carolina Panthers season opener Thursday, Marshall was the only known person among the 77,000 fans and workers in attendance to take a knee during the National Anthem.
Not only has Marshall offended many Americans for what they perceive is an unpatriotic act by not standing at attention for the National Anthem, two of his paid endorsements have dropped him.
Brandon Marshall said CenturyLink dropped him as spokesman, join Air Academy Credit Union #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 12, 2016
Although Marshall will draw $12.553 million from the Broncos in salary and signing bonus this year, Air Academy Federal Credit Union, based in Colorado Springs, quickly dumped Marshall on Friday morning. CenturyLink terminated its agreement with Marshall on Monday.
“While we acknowledge Brandon's right, we also believe that whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation,’’ CenturyLink said in a statement. “In our view, the National Anthem is one of those moments. For this reason, while we wish Brandon the best this season, we are politely terminating our agreement with him.”
To this, Marshall made two pronouncements. One, he would kneel during the National Anthem again Sunday when the Broncos play the Indianapolis Colts.
Brandon Marshall said he would kneel during National Anthem again Sunday. Still working through "end game" #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) September 12, 2016
Two, he will meet Tuesday with Denver Police Chief Robert White.
“I feel like there’s a lot of oppression still,’’ Marshall said. “People don’t really realize it because people that aren’t minorities and they don’t know what it’s like to be a minority in this country. I’m not saying it’s terrible. I love this country. We have great opportunities, but at the same time, if you’re not a minority, you don’t really understand.’’
Copyright 2016 KUSA