Every Broncos Player Will Stand for the National Anthem Starting Oct. 1

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
September 28, 2017US News
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Every Broncos Player Will Stand for the National Anthem Starting Oct. 1
The Denver Broncos during an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos team has unified behind a single message amid the swirling controversy of national anthem protests. Starting on Sunday, Oct. 1, the team announced in a statement, all of the players will stand when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is performed.

“We have nothing but the deepest love and respect for those who protect our way of life and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans,” the team wrote. “Starting Sunday, we’ll be standing together.”

A total of 32 Broncos players took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, Sept. 24, The Denver Post reported. The protest was backed by the team’s head coach Vance Joseph, who told the players they can do as they see fit.

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Denver Broncos players kneel during the American National Anthem before an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The Broncos players were among more than 200 NFL players who took a knee that Sunday in response to a suggestion from President Donald Trump that players who kneel during the national anthem should be cut from their teams.

Broncos star pass rusher Von Miller lost an endorsement from a major local car dealer following the protest, CBS4 reported. Phil Long Ford was negotiating a contract renewal with Miller and decided against bringing the player back after he kneeled during the national anthem.

Last year, Miller’s teammate Brandon Marshall also lost endorsements after he took a knee during the national anthem, according to Yahoo News.

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Denver Broncos players kneel during the American National Anthem before an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Trump did not back down after the Sunday protests and instead doubled down on criticism of players on Monday and Tuesday. The president suggested that the league should make a rule against kneeling during the anthem.

“When it comes to the respect of our nation, when it comes to the respect of our anthem and our flag, we have no choice,” Trump said, according to CNN. “We have to have people stand with respect.”

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Buffalo Bills fans hold up an American flag during an NFL game against the Denver Broncos on Sept. 24, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The first NFL player to protest during the national anthem was Colin Kaepernick, who sat on a bench during the national anthem on Aug. 14 and Aug. 20 last year.

When he sat again on Aug. 26, Kaepernick’s protest was noticed by the media and drew fire from fans across the nation who viewed it as disrespectful to the the flag, the nation, and the men and women who serve to protect American freedoms.

Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 and remains a free agent, as no team has hired him since.

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