The Denver Broncos Have Officially Left the Protest: All Players Will Stand for National Anthem

Virgil Green of the Denver Broncos raises his fist during the national anthem before an NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos have officially left the protest for black lives behind. Maybe it was the president of white supremacy’s words commanding NFL team owners to fire players who don’t stand for the anthem. Maybe the players realized that they aren’t built for this protest life. Maybe they are scared. But either way, all of the players will be standing for the national anthem.

“We had a meeting yesterday after practice and we decided to stand as a team,” Denver coach Vance Joseph said, reports. “But they wanted a statement just stating what they were doing last Saturday and what we’re doing as a team moving forward. I think the statement speaks to their initial intent on what they wanted to get accomplished in the past and on Sunday. So I’m proud of the guys. Moving forward it’s about our team playing football, and that’s what it’s really about.”


“We just have a leadership council meeting, and not everybody wanted to do it,” Broncos cornerback Chris Harris said. “But, I mean, majority rules and we just came up with it to stand.

“It was a majority,” he added. “You got to vote, and every time you can’t always have your way, so everybody, as a team, in that leadership, we all went with it, and everybody stands. The leaders made the choice.”

So that’s it. The kneeling protest for the movement for black lives is over in Denver, and all players will stand during the national anthem Sunday when the Broncos take on the Oakland Raiders.

Advertisement notes that Broncos players Von Miller, Demaryius Thomas and Virgil Green all protested last week.

But it sounds like good ole boy and Broncos president of football ops and general manager John Elway has gotten his way.


“I’m one that believes in standing for the national anthem, and I’ve always believed that,” he said in a statement Tuesday, according to He continued:

I believe that this is the greatest country in the world. We are very fortunate to live here, but it’s obviously not perfect. There are a lot of things that need to be corrected, and we will continue to work on those things. I’m one that really believes in standing for the flag. I understand the players and the way they felt from the comments that were made earlier in the week. They felt that they had to go down and kneel and that’s up to them. Hopefully as we go forward we can start concentrating on football a little bit more. Take politics out of football. but I think that last week was a good show of unity by the NFL and hopefully this week we can move forward.


I have an idea: If we’re taking politics out of football, maybe we can take paid patriotism out of football, too. I hate all of this trumped-up patriotism surrounding the flag when the protest has always ... forget it. I keep thinking that rational people are upset about the kneeling, when it’s just racists, and I can’t argue with racists.


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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.