Ex-Bronco Brandon Marshall on 2016 Kneeling: This Is What We Were Talking About

Megan ArmstrongSenior Analyst IIJune 2, 2020

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

Former Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem before games as a silent protest against police brutality and racial injustice in the United States during the 2016 NFL season. 

"Back then, we were called rogues, people said that we didn't deserve jobs, but this is what we were talking about then,'' Marshall told ESPN's Jeff Legwold on Monday. "I think people are looking at [Kaepernick] now like, OK, maybe he knew. People didn't want to hear the message after, 'Oh, they were kneeling,' they didn't want that message, weren't ready for it, didn't listen."

"I hope, and I look at it, I hope people are ready for the message. I really hope they're ready for change."

The topic has re-emerged in mainstream media after George Floyd was killed May 25. The 46-year-old unarmed black man was in Minneapolis police custody when then-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on the back of his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Chauvin has been fired, arrested and charged with third-degree murder as well as second-degree manslaughter.

Results from an independent autopsy released Monday ruled that Floyd died from "asphyxiation from sustained pressure."

Marshall also discussed his kneeling protest with TMZ Sports on Monday:

Floyd's killing helped spark protests across the nation seeking justice and demanding the end of police brutality and racial injustice.

Marshall last played in 2018, while Kaepernick has been out of the league since beginning his protests in 2016.