Former Texas A&M WR Mike Evans reverses position on national anthem
Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans has been protesting the United States presidential election by kneeling during the national anthem before games.
After Sunday’s matchup with Chicago, former Texas A&M standout called president-elect Donald Trump’s campaign and election “a joke.” But the actual protest, according to Evans, is solely about Trump’s election and nothing else.
That includes the military, many of whom were on the field before the game in honor of Veteran’s Day.
“I don’t want to, you know, disrespect the veterans or anything,” Evans said on Sunday. “The men and women who serve this country, I’m forever indebted to them. But the things that’s been going on in America lately, I’m not going to stand for that. When Ashton Kutcher comes out and says we’ve been punk’ed, then I’ll stand again. But I won’t stand anymore.”
Evans heard some boos from fans, per ESPN, but his protest was quiet for the most part.
Still, Evans has since had a change of heart. Tuesday morning, he released a statement acknowledging that he has reversed his position on the anthem, further elaborating on why he was protesting in the first place:
Bucs’ WR Mike Evans reverses his position on the National Anthem: pic.twitter.com/61WJbXK6q5
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 15, 2016
During Monday’s press conference, Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter told media that he was “disappointed” Evans chose to sit during the national anthem, but that he respected his decision.
“Yeah, I’m disappointed for that,” Koetter said. “I also respect Mike’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”