Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans has joined thousands around the country in their protest of president-elect Donald Trump.
Evans did not swarm the streets shouting “Not my president,” but rather he took a page from fellow NFL player Colin Kaepernick. During a game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Evans took a knee during the national anthem. He explained that he did so to express disappointment in the U.S. for electing a reality television star to lead the country, saying it’s “not a good look for America.”
“I don’t want to disrespect the veterans or anything. The men and women that serve this country, I’m forever indebted to them. But the things that have been going on in America lately, I’m not going to stand for that,” Evans told CBS News. He explained that it has nothing to do with party politics, but it’s about Donald Trump as a person. “When he ran I thought it was a joke,” he admitted. “The joke continues.”
The Buccaneers released a statement on Sunday night addressing the protest. The team said that it is deeply committed to honoring military men and women who have “made great sacrifices to insure all the tremendous freedoms we have in this great country,” and it encourages its team members to “respectfully honor our flag during the playing of the national anthem.” However, it went on to acknowledge that every individual has a “constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American principles we cherish.”
Mark Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks, made a similar statement during the NBA’s pre-season.
Colin Kaepernick made headlines over the summer when he took a knee during the national anthem before a pre-season football game to peacefully protest racial injustice in America. The San Francisco 49’ers quarterback was quickly inundated with waves of both support and criticism (including death threats).