Are NFL players that took a knee during the national anthem losing endorsement deals?
Not officially for this season, but a player did lose endorsement deals last season.
Air Academy Federal Credit Union, CenturyLink spokesperson, Phil Long Ford Denver
An article posted on Root.com claims that sponsors are dropping NFL players that participated in the national anthem protests, particularly Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall and outside linebacker Von Miller.
Brandon Marshall did lose two endorsement deals in 2016 with a telecommunications company, CenturyLink and Air Academy Federal Credit Union in Colorado.
AAFCU’s President/CEO Glenn Strebe released the following statement after ending their 5-month relationship with Marshall as their spokesperson.
CenturyLink issued a statement a few days later on September 12, 2016:
“We completely respect Brandon Marshall's personal decision and right to take an action to support something in which he strongly believes. America is anchored in the right of individuals to express their beliefs. While we acknowledge Brandon's right, we also believe that whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation. In our view, the national anthem is one of those moments. For this reason, while we wish Brandon the best this season, we are politely terminating our agreement with him.”
Brandon Marshall posted an Instagram post last season acknowledging that he was “taking a knee during the National Anthem to raise awareness for social injustice and start a conversation and to start a conversation about what all of us can do to make a positive change.”
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As for outside linebacker, Von Miller who took a knee on September 24, he has not officially been let go from his sponsor deal with Phil Long Ford yet, but it looks like that’s the direction the car dealership might be heading in after the statement they released.
As for a third Broncos player that took a knee, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, he has not been dropped by CenturyLink, for whom he is a current spokesman.
WUSA9 researchers spoke with CenturyLink media spokesperson, Mark Molzen who said:
“Our understanding is that the decision to kneel was a team decision, rather than an individual decision. We spoke with Emmanuel and expressed our concern regarding not standing during the national anthem to properly pay respect and gratitude to those who have fought, and many who have died, to serve our great nation and protect the freedom we all enjoy. He indicated he participated in the protest to show team unity and that it was a one-time occurrence."
On Thursday afternoon, the Denver Broncos organization announced they would be standing together in their upcoming matchup against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday.
A message from our players: pic.twitter.com/eQs3z7OcqV— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) September 28, 2017