Broncos player took a knee during national anthem, now endorsement company brought him to his knees

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is shrugging off losing an endorsement for his refusal to stand during the national anthem.

Marshall’s decision to kneel on Thursday at the season’s opening game cost him a position as spokesman for the Air Academy Federal Credit Union which ended its endorsement deal on Friday.

In a statement on Facebook, AAFCU’s president and CEO  Glenn Strebe wrote that Marshall’s actions were “not a representation of our organization and membership.”

Marshall had said his decision to kneel during the national anthem came after discussion with friends and family as well as prayer. He had clarified that he meant no disrespect to the military or law enforcement.

“Absolutely they were worth the consequences,” Marshall said Friday, in reaction to the AAFCU statement.

“I lost an endorsement, but that’s OK. I figured some sort of repercussion would happen. It’s what I thought about, and I still made the decision to do it. I can live with it,” he said, according to The Denver Post.

“I definitely got more negative (feedback). It’s tough because I don’t read all the comments,” he said. “I had so many comments on Twitter and Instagram, I couldn’t go through all of them. I had a lot of positive text messages, but as far as social media, I had a lot of negative, racist comments. People calling me the N-word and a lot of people calling me all kinds of derogatory terms. It is what it is. There’s a lot of hate out there. I’m not here to spread hate or negativity. I’m here to spread positivity.”

Marshall hoped other players would join in the protest which was started by his former college teammate, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Marshall, like Kaepernick, said he would continue to kneel during the anthem and promised to donate to charities like Wounded Warriors, the Post reported.

“Truth be to told, I’m not sure how long I’m going to do it,” Marshall said about not standing during the anthem. “I would be lying if I said I did. Which is what took me so long to do it in the first place, because I was wondering what’s the end game? How long is it going to take for change? What’s the end game for me to be able to get out, do what I need to do and feel good about the change that maybe I effected?”

Broncos Coach Gary Kubiak would not offer his opinion on Marshall’s decision but backed the player for his right to make the choice, according to the Post.

We had a really good talk this morning,” Kubiak said on Friday. “Like I told you guys last night, he’s a great kid. He’s accountable, he always does his job — he did his job last night — and Brandon has the rights to his beliefs. … He’s always done his job.”

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Frieda Powers

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