'Not my team anymore': Broncos fans sound off after protests

Players around the league took knees and some even stayed in their locker rooms.

After President Donald Trump called for the firing or suspension of NFL players who knelt for the National Anthem at games, players, coaches and even an owner stood in protest.

Many players stood with their arms locked on the sidelines, while others took a knee. A few teams - the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks stayed in their locker rooms during the anthem.

The protests came a day after Broncos CEO Joe Ellis voiced his support for players.

"Our players have shown a tremendous commitment to raising awareness for important societal issues by using their platform in a positive way,’’ he said in a statement.

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9NEWS viewers had quite a lot to say on the subject, often writing several paragraphs as to whether they support or decry the protests. 

Editor's note: Some comments have been edited for grammar and clarity.

In a lengthy comment on our Verify regarding the National Anthem at NFL games, Nancy Allen wrote this:

Today, the NFL died to me. I have been a loyal, faithful Denver Broncos fan for nearly 50 years! You turning your back on my flag? The flag that affords you the privilege to play the game you love on a field & earn millions of dollars doing it? I'm turning my back on you & just so you know, I can live without the NFL but the NFL cannot live without me & the millions of white fans that fill those stadiums! 

Her comments were echoed by many on the 9NEWS Facebook page throughout the day, as players across the NFL knelt - or didn't even leave the locker room - for the National Anthem. Viewers generally sided against the protests, at least on social media.

"I loved the Broncos, I am very disappointed in then and the NFL," Tamara Maxwell said. "I am boycotting the NFL for the disrespect to the USA and the men and women that have fought and are fighting now to protect us."

"Not my team anymore," Rae Hall said. "My husband served for the flag."

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Some were harsher in their criticisms of the team. Jerry McGeorge referred to the players as "Kneeling Donkeys" on a post about the Broncos' loss.

"Let's stop going to all the games until they start respecting our country and flag," Karen Williams said. "They are a total embarrassment!!!!"

"Broncos, that's payback for taking a knee!" said Linda Lello after the loss. "What goes around comes around. Lost so much respect for our team and for John Elway."

Some viewers took a more measured tone in their thoughts on the matter.

"They have a right to kneel," Shawn House said. "The president has a right to speak. We all have a right to not watch anymore. Freedom. It's whats for dinner."

"Doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on," Sally Sanders wrote. "This is going to hurt the NFL."

Others saw an opportunity to pick up venerable season tickets for the team.

"Can't wait to finally get my season tickets when all those saying they will boycott the NFL don't renew next year," wrote Jeff Anderson.

One viewer messaged 9NEWS to say they canceled their season tickets via email after the protests.

Those who supported protests were quick to point to the fact the players weren't protesting the flag itself.

"People don’t get it. These guys aren’t protesting against the anthem, the flag or our country," Ted Maloch wrote. "They are taking an opportunity in a big stage to bring awareness to a problem that exists (don’t say it doesn’t)."

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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