The hashtag #boytcottNFL began trending Friday on Twitter after upset sports fans shared their opinions about another athlete refusing to stand during the national anthem. Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos followed in the footsteps of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by choosing not to stand Thursday night during the national anthem in the first game of the 2016 regular season.
Kaepernick recently announced he would protest the national anthem during the NFL preseason, choosing to sit instead of stand. The quarterback explained he would continue to boycott until he is satisfied with changes made to end racial oppression in the U.S. He eventually came to the decision to kneel in an effort to show respect and honor to those who serve in the military.
Four total athletes have joined Kaepernick in not standing, which includes teammate Eric Reid, who kneeled alongside him during the final preseason game. The same day that the two NFL players took a knee, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat down while the national anthem was played. Lane revealed that he too would no longer stand for the anthem, ESPN Seattle reported Tuesday.
Seattle Reign and U.S. women's national soccer team player Megan Rapinoe followed Kaepernick in taking a knee during the anthem prior to her match as a sign of support for her fellow athletes. Rapinoe went on to announce that she would continue to kneel in an effort to show solidarity with other athletes who have joined the protest.
Marshall was the most recent athlete to take a knee and as of Friday afternoon he had lost his endorsement deal with Air Academy Federal Credit Union over the protest. The company posted a statement to their Facebook page announcing the termination of the relationship. The statement read, “While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors.”
As Twitter users continue to tweet their distaste for Kaepernick and the athletes that are rallying behind him, a logical question to ask is who will be next to join the athletes in their protest?
Linebacker Bobby Wagner, who has played with Lane in Seattle since 2012, hinted that the Seahawks may be the next athletes to join the protest. Wagner told the media that “anything we want to do, it’s not going to be individual. It’s going to be a team thing. That’s what the world needs to see. The world needs to see people coming together versus being individuals.”