Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has lost a sponsor for kneeling during the playing of the national anthem during the regular season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. The Air Academy Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) has dropped Marshall as a spokesperson following his actions.
Marshall took a knee during the anthem to show solidarity with college teammate Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback who has been sitting and kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice, particularly as it pertains to police violence against minorities in the United States.
The AAFCU released a statement from president and CEO Glenn Strebe on Friday afternoon.
“Although we have enjoyed Brandon Marshall as our spokesperson over the past five months, Air Academy Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) has ended our partnership,” Strebe said in a statement Friday on the company’s Facebook page. “AAFCU is a membership-based organization who has proudly served the military community for over 60 years. While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors.”
Following Thursday’s game, Marshall said that he isn’t against the military, the police or the Untied States, but that he is against “social injustice.” He followed that up by calling Kaepernick his family.
“I believe in what [Kaepernick] is trying to do,” Marshall said. “I believe in his actions so I definitely want to stand by him.”
Marshall also said he plans to donate money to “programs for veterans and different things like that.”
Elsewhere in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks players are reportedly considering a team-wide show of unity against social injustice during the anthem prior to their season opener against the Miami Dolphins. Cornerback Jeremy Lane already sat during the anthem in the team’s preseason finale.