Joining Colin Kaepernick in His Cause Comes With Costs
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) —Standing, kneeling or gesturing in support of Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protests has come at a cost for the dozen NFL players who have joined the cause against social injustices. They've faced vitriolic, sometimes racist reactions, forfeited some of their fan base, and at least one has lost endorsements.
None is deterred by the backlash.
"No, it's worth it," said Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, insisting that while he's disheartened by evaporating endorsements , Twitter trolls and the burning of a T-shirt in front of team headquarters this week, he's also undaunted.
"It's an evil world. It's a hateful world. I'm not here to spread hate. I'm not here to respond to the hate. I'm here to spread love and positivity," Marshall said. "I'm a likable guy. I was once a fan favorite for a reason. It's cool, because people can call me 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."
Detractors accuse protesting players of being unpatriotic or disrespecting the American flag. Marshall said he's also gotten lots of love from military veterans saying they fought for his right to peacefully protest as much as they did for those who stand and salute the Stars and Stripes.
Marshall played at Nevada with Kaepernick, who began this movement last month by refusing to stand for the anthem during San Francisco's preseason games as a protest to racial oppression and police brutality in the United States.