2 Bucs players kneel during national anthem, Glazer releases statement

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players took a knee as the National Anthem was played ahead of kickoff against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

According to the Associated Press, more than 200 NFL players sat or knelt in protest on Sunday.

Among them were Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans and Bucs wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Both were seen kneeling as the “Star-Spangled Banner” played. Evans had his hand over his heart during the anthem.

The other Bucs players stood with their arms linked together, as did the Vikings players.

Shortly after kickoff, Tampa Bay Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer released this statement via Twitter:

Shortly before halftime of the Bucs and Vikings game, President Trump tweeted in response to Sunday’s protests by NFL players.

This all comes less than 48 hours after President Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem.

On Saturday, several Bucs players took to social media to voice their opposition to the president’s comments.

Jackson was one of the players who commented on Twitter, saying he would definitely be making a statement ahead of Sunday’s game:

This is not the first time Evans has opted not to stand for the national anthem.

Last year, Evans sat on the sidelines during the anthem due to his disappointment with the election of Donald Trump as president.

“I only see him tweeting about all of the other things going on. The situation in Charlottesville—I don’t see him talking about that much, but he has the time and the nerve to call out the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry, all of us in the NFL that took a knee,” Evans told News Channel 8 after the game on Sunday.

Evans and Jackson’s gesture garnered a mixed reaction from Bucs fans on Sunday.

“That’s what I fought for,” said one fan. “Then to see this, it’s like slapping me in the face,” one fan, a veteran, told News Channel 8 after the game.

“It’s disrespectful to the flag, the servicemen, and yet they salute servicemen at every game,” said another.

But others feel differently.  “I’m proud of the Bucs, I’m proud of our players, I think they did it the right way,” one fan said after the game.

“We just want the same respect that everyone else gets. If our leader is supposed to get respect, we want to get respect too. We just don’t see it that way. It’s not going to be that way right now. And hopefully, we can get it figured out,” Jackson told News Channel 8.

 

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