When Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee during the national anthem in the Broncos’ regular-season opening game against the Carolina Panthers last week, he lost two endorsement deals.
But Marshall is going to do more, and it’s coming out of his own pocket.
Following a Tuesday meeting with Denver Police Chief Robert White, Marshall said in an Instagram post Wednesday that he will donate $300 for every tackle he makes this season to organizations in the Denver community.
“On Thursday, Sept. 8, I took a knee for the National Anthem to take a stand against social injustice,” Marshall said in the post. “My intent was not to offend anyone but rather to simply raise awareness and create some dialogue toward affecting positive change in our communities.
“In the last week, I’ve had a lot of productive conversations with people I respect, including Chief White of the Denver Police Department. I really appreciate all of them taking the time to listen to me and offer some insight and feedback on ways we can all make a difference.
“I’ve also had a lot of time to personally reflect on important issues such as race and gender equality, the treatment of our military veterans, our relationship with law enforcement, educational opportunities for our youth, and many more. I recognize and applaud the significant progress that has been made in these areas made possible only through the hard work of so many dedicated leaders.
“But, it’s clear there is so more work to be done by all of us. Together, we all need to Stand Up for change. This starts with me. My work with the Rose Andom Center to stop domestic violence is fulfilling and close to my heart. But I need to do more.
“I plan to be involved with several other organizations that benefit the Denver community and others through the services, awareness and funds they provide for these critical social issues. And I will donate 300 dollars for every tackle I make this season to those programs.”
According to the Denver Post, Marshall met with White for almost an hour.
“It became pretty clear to me that his kneeling was to speak to the injustices that he feels are going across in our country,” White said, according to the Post story. “But I also think he recognizes — and we talked about this — that most of the men and women in law enforcement, and certainly those in Denver, are out doing the right thing every single day. And it’s that small percentage that is a challenge for our community (that) is a challenge for me.”
With taking a knee on Thursday, Marshall joined San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, his former teammate at the University of Nevada, as well as other NFL players who have protested during the national anthem. Marshall’s actions cost him endorsement deals with the Air Academy Federal Credit Union and CenturyLink.
On Tuesday, Marshall posted on Instagram that he received a new endorsement deal with RushCard, a company owned by music mogul Russell Simmons.
“I’m definitely with Kaepernick as far as some police laws that could be changed,” Marshall said Monday. “I just heard that the Mayor of Denver [Michael Hancock] is pledging money to increase police training and to make the police exam harder. It’s just different things like that, and not just with police. I feel like there’s a lot of oppression still.
“People don’t really realize it because people that aren’t minorities … don’t know what it’s like to be a minority in this country. I’m not saying it’s terrible. I love this country. We have great opportunities, but at the same time, if you’re not a minority, you don’t really understand. I speak for everybody when I say that because I know they agree with me, whether they say it on camera or not, they agree with me.”
Marshall, who was fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit last week on Carolina Panthers’ QB Cam Newton, said he plans to take a knee again on Sunday when the Broncos host the Indianapolis Colts.