Prior to the Denver Broncos season opener on Monday Night Football, a number of NFL players chose to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. The organization released a statement later in the week to address the controversial issue.
“As we’ve discussed with our team in recent months, the Broncos fully respect and support everyone’s right to advocate for positive change,” the statement reads. “How a player, coach, staff member or fan chooses to express themselves during the national anthem is a personal decision.”
While the Broncos explained that they support everyone’s right to choose on standing or kneeling for the anthem, the organization also made sure to highlight its appreciation for first responders. “Our entire organization has the deepest appreciation and gratitude for the flag, the military and the first-responders who keep us safe,” the statement continues.
However, the Broncos also acknowledge the reason why they feel many players chose to kneel. “We also understand the importance of bringing awareness to – and ending – police brutality, systemic racism and injustices toward the Black community,” the statement reads. “Together with the players, we will continue to listen, grow and work to inspire change. We are proud of the players and stand with them in the fight for equality.”
John Elway on the Denver Broncos Plan for the NFL Anthem Controversy
Earlier this month, Broncos GM and President of Football Operations John Elway revealed how the team planned on handling the national anthem. The Super Bowl champion explained that he supports his players no matter their decision.
“We have talked to team,” Elway said while speaking with 9Sports. “Where I stand is where Broncos stand… players can do as they wish… All we ask is everybody respect everybody… If someone wants to stand, respect they want to stand. Somebody wants to kneel, respect the rights.”
In addition to John Elway, a number of other prominent NFL figures have spoken out about the kneeling controversy. Most recently, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys addressed the sole player for the team that chose not to stand. Check out what Jones said here.