In front of a national audience during the NFL’s kickoff game to open up the 2016 season, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee on the sidelines during the singing of the national anthem.
Marshall appeared to be the only player on the Broncos or the Carolina Panthers to make the gesture.
In a statement to Pro Football Talk, the Broncos said, “While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the national anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision.”
It’s unclear what Marshall’s motivations were, but several players have made similar gestures since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench during the anthem during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
Kaepernick, who played college football with Marshall at Nevada, said he couldn’t stand for a flag that represents wrongdoings committed against people of color.
Defensive striker Henry Melton becomes the newest member of the Denver Broncos.
Melton, who was once selected to the Pro Bowl, played in 16 games (1 starts) for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and completed two sacks last season. The 29-year-old player will become a valued member of the Broncos defensive lines, after the team’s defensive tackle Vance Walker has been placed on the injured reserve.
The Broncos got more good news before completing Melton’s signing. DeMarcus Ware will soon return to training. Defensive end Derek Wolfe looks do not hurt but previously considered likely to encounter serious knee injury.
Melton has made 22.5 sacks in the previous six seasons.