Brandon Marshall: Donald Trump's Comments on NFL Anthem Policy 'Disgusting'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 1:  Inside linebacker Brandon Marshall #54 of the Denver Broncos stands and holds a fist in the air during the national anthem before a game against the Oakland Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 1, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall called comments made by President Trump "disgusting" after Trump suggested players who didn't stand for the national anthem "shouldn't be in the country."

Trump was responding to the policy approved by NFL owners that outlines players must stand for the national anthem or can remain in the locker room during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Marshall was withering in his criticism of the president, per ESPN's Jeff Legwold:

"I say 'disgusting' because of our First Amendment rights. We have freedom of speech, right? Freedom to protest? Because somebody decides to protest something, now have to be kicked out of the country? That's not how things should work, in my opinion. ... Just because somebody disagrees with something, or if I didn't stand for the anthem, or if I don't like what's going on, that's basically him saying I should be kicked out the country."

Trump has been vocal regarding the protest movement sparked by the free-agent quarterback, and he went so far as to say last fall NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the anthem.

"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He's fired. He's fired!'" Trump told supporters during a rally.

As a result of Trump's outspoken opinions, the New York Times' Ken Belson and Mark Leibovich reported NFL owners held a meeting with players and league executives about a month after his comments at the rally. According to Belson and Leibovich, the owners were "intent on finding a way to avoid Trump's continued criticism."

That led to the new anthem policy, which stipulates teams can face a fine if any member of the organization on the sideline doesn't stand during the national anthem.

ESPN The Magazine's Seth Wickersham reported Thursday the league didn't hold an official vote regarding the matter and instead had an informal poll of league owners before following through with the decision.

The NFL Players Association released a statement Wednesday saying the NFL didn't consult the players' union before enacting the policy and that the union "challenge any aspect of [the policy] that is inconsistent with the collective bargaining agreement."

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