Following Colin Kaepernick’s lead, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall decided to kneel down during the national anthem in Thursday’s season opening win against the Carolina Panthers.
After the game, Marshall, who is black, explained to reporters that he did so as a way to protest against racial injustice in America. “I’m not against the military. I’m not against the police or America. I’m just against social injustice,” he said. “I’m proud of it. I don’t regret it. I know this is right.”
The backlash on social media was swift. And now he’s lost at least one sponsorship deal because of his decision.
Air Academy Federal Credit Union CEO Glenn Strebe wrote on Facebook that the AAFCU ended its partnership with Marshall. Marshall has served as one of the company’s spokesman for the last five months.
“AAFCU is a membership-based organization who has proudly served the military community for over 60 years,” Strebe wrote. “While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors.”
Marshall is the fourth NFL player to kneel during “The Star Spangled Banner.” Kaepernick, who was teammates with Marshall at Nevada, started the trend. The Seahwaks’ Jeremy Lane and 49ers’ Eric Reed both followed suit.
Kaepernick explained his decision to kneel on Aug. 27, saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”