Seattle, WA- Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was the second player that took a stand with Colin Kaepernick with protesting last season and was proud to say that this country needs to change. “I mean it is very obvious to see what is going on in the country. I just do not understand why others do not see what is going on. It is not about the flag and the military. I respect both, but there is a bigger picture of what is happening in this world.”
After Marshall took a knee, he lost his sponsorship with Centurylink. Centurylink dropped Marshall without a phone call or any explanation of why. “I just felt like the situation should have been handled a little bit differently. Yes, I am upset, but they could’ve got my statements on why I took a stance.” Here is the statement that was issued from Centurylink representatives; “We completely respect Brandon Marshall’s personal decision and right to take an action to support something in which he strongly believes. America is anchored in the right of individuals to express their beliefs. 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. 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.”
Marshall was not the only player to get sliced and diced by Centurylink’s sponsors. Marshall’s teammate Von Miller was dropped from Centurylink, because he took a kneel in honor of protesting the injustice in the country. In response to Centurylink dropping him, he replied with two words “I’m good.
Change has to start somewhere and it starts with conversing about the injustice and a system that seems to have a double standard. A lot of Americans are getting sidetracked from the reason why Kaepernick, Marshall, and others are letting their silent protests do the talking. Some feel like the players that are kneeling are disrespecting the flag or the military, but players that have been interviewed by reporters have said the same thing. They feel like they have the right to use their platforms to raise awareness on why America is divided and the injustice of innocent victims being shot and killed without any repercussions. They respect and honor the people who protect us.
Cowboys’ Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith spoke about coming together as a country and making changes. “It starts with understanding and talking about the past. Sometimes people do not understand the situation. So conversation is a big key and just move on after that. The past is the past and something that we can not change, but if we actually understood each other and move forward with patching things up, we all can come together.”
This protest has been a nightmare for the NFL and their ratings. Ratings have dipped 10% this year but still remains with 15.4 million viewers, who still watches football games.
Marshall does not regret anything that he has done and just want to be a positive role for his brother M. Marshall, family, and the youth that looks up to him. “It is an honor that many people look up to me and I treat it that. I go out work hard and encourage others to follow their dream, but also enlighten people about what is going on in our nation. Years down the road this protest will be looked at as a change in the right direction and I want to be apart of the change.”
With the Broncos having a great season so far (3-1) and Brandon taking the time to educate individuals about the injustice and broken system, it will be interesting to see if America can be unified by the protest and have a heart or turn their cheek once again to a failed system. Only time will tell!
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