TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) –– Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans issued an apology on Tuesday to members of the U.S. military and Bucs fans, after he refused to stand for the national anthem at Sunday’s game.
Evans said he decided to sit during the national anthem because he was protesting that Donald Trump was elected president.
His action angered many, including State Senator Jack Latvala, who suggested that fans boycott the Bucs until Evans apologized or was no longer on the team.
“Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans’ decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem at Sunday’s game is a slap in the face to our veterans, our active duty military, and every freedom-loving American in Tampa Bay. I am deeply offended and will not attend another Bucs game until Evans either apologizes or is no longer on the team,” said Latvala.
Mike Evans released the following statement on Tuesday morning:
“I want to start by apologizing to all the U.S. military members, their families, and the fans who I offended by my actions on Sunday. It was never my intention as I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country.
I have very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today. I chose to sit as an expression of my frustration towards this year’s election. It was very personal for me, as it was for so many Americans.
With that being said, I will not sit again during the National Anthem because I want to focus my efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate my message and bring about change by supporting organizations and movements that fight for equal rights for minorities.
This Sunday, I will be back to standing with my teammates.”
The Bucs play Kansas City next Sunday. Their next home game will be Nov. 27 against the Seattle Seahawks.
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