A defending Super Bowl champion just kneeled during the national anthem before the NFL opener

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee during the singing of the national anthem before kickoff of the first game of the NFL season.

Ever since Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the anthem during preseason games, many athletes have voiced their support for his message. In post-game interviews, Kaepernick says that he is standing up for people who routinely face police brutality and institutionalized discrimination, and are often left without a voice.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he told the NFL Network last week.

U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe joined Kaepernick by kneeling during the anthem before a soccer game last week, and several Seattle Seahawks players have already announced their intention to remain seated during their season opener on Sunday.


Shortly after the game kicked off, the Broncos front office released a statement about Marshall’s protest.

“While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the National Anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision,” the statement reads.