In in a recent article by CNN on Sunday, November 13th, NFL star Mike Evans decided to sit during the national anthem in protest of Donald Trump winning the election. Tampa Bay Bucs star has been the latest high-profile NFL star to protest during the pre-game US national anthem since the infamous Colin Kaepernick protest. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to kneel this season during the national anthem protesting the mistreatment of African Americans. However, Evans claims his protest was entirely motivated by Trump. The star wide receiver also posted in an Instagram comment last week that he did not vote in last Tuesday’s presidential election.
“When he ran, I thought it was a joke and the joke continues,” Evans said after the game. “I’m not a political person that much, but I’ve got common sense. And I know when something’s not right.
The Buccaneers’ star’s protest was short-lived. It was the Buccaneers’ annual “Salute to Service” game, a day honoring US Veterans. In a statement released on Tuesday, Evan’s inevitably apologized to the military and anyone else offended by his actions. He also reported that he will be back standing with his teammates in his next NFL game.
“I want to start by apologizing to all the U.S. military members, their families, and the fans who I offended by my actions on Sunday, it was never my intention as I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country. I have very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today. I chose to sit as an expression of my frustration towards this year’s election. It was very personal for me, as it was for so many Americans. With that being said, I will not sit again during the National Anthem because I want to focus my efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate my message and bring about change by supporting organizations and movements that fight for equal rights for minorities. This Sunday, I will be back to standing with my teammates.”
Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday that he was “disappointed” with Evans’ decision to sit because of what the national anthem stands for but then stated that he does respect Mike’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression.