Demaryius Thomas and Brandon Marshall chose to stay in the tunnel during the playing of the national anthem Saturday night. That broke from Von Miller‘s assertion in May, after the NFL passed a new anthem policy, that the Broncos would stand as a team following a meeting with president Joe Ellis and G.M. John Elway.
“It wasn’t a decision,” Thomas told Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic. “It’s just that I always had it on my mind. Not even this year, but last year. It’s just something I’ve dealt with growing up, racism as a kid, kind of still do as a grown up and my family still deals with it today and doesn’t get justice. It’s something I’ve dealt with, my family has dealt with and others around the country have dealt with so much. It’s just tough to see that, because I’m one who wants to put out love to everybody. I don’t see color. I don’t see none of that. To see people get hurt and not get justice is sad.”
A handful of protests occurred during the anthem in the first full week of the preseason.
Running back Marshawn Lynch sat on the bench during the national anthem before the Raiders’ game, and receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson took knees during the national anthem before the Dolphins’ game. A smattering of other players either raised a fist during the anthem or weren’t on the field for the playing of it.
“I don’t think it was a right or wrong time,” Thomas told Jhabvala. “It’s what I was going to do.
“. . . It’s what I feel passionate about. People bash me about playing football. They talk about my game, and it’s what I do everyday. It is what it is. I don’t pay attention to it. I don’t pay attention to social media and TV and all that stuff.”