After John Elway knocks anthem protests, Broncos say 'we'll be standing together'

The Denver Broncos featured a player in Brandon Marshall who was one of the early players to jump on board with the Colin Kaepernick-like protests, as Marshall knelt during the NFL season opener last year against Carolina. 

The decision eventually cost him a sponsorship, but Marshall has continued to speak his mind and express his views. The Broncos were one of many teams protesting during Week 3 in the wake of President Donald Trump's explosive comments about NFL players being "fired" for not standing during the anthem.

But on Wednesday, Broncos President/GM John Elway surprised many by issuing a statement saying he preferred to "take the politics out of football."

It should, perhaps, not be surprising to see the Broncos issue a statement saying they planned to be "standing together" come Week 4's game against the Raiders

The statement in full:

Last week, members of our team joined their brothers around the NFL in a powerful display of unity. It was an emotional time for everyone, including the fans who support us each and every week. As controversial as it appeared, we needed to show our collective strength and resolve.

Our voices needed to be heard loud and clear.

Make no mistake -- our actions were in no way a protest of the military, the flag or those who keep us safe. We have nothing but the deepest love and respect for those who protect our way of life and the freedom we enjoy as Americans.

While there's no greater country, it's not perfect. Inequalities still exist, and we have work to do in ALL forms of social justice.

We can all do better.

It starts with us. We need to do our part and use our platform as NFL players to continue driving that positive change.

Our locker room is one diverse place, and that's what makes it so special. It's where thoughtful, intelligent leaders from all different races, religions and backgrounds come together.

We may have different values and beliefs, but there's one thing we all agree on:

We're a team and we stand together -- no matter how divisive some comments and issues can be, nothing should ever get in the way of that. 

Starting Sunday, we'll be standing together.

So that can be read several different ways. For starters, it's great that the entire Broncos team is going to continue to be unified. They should be -- from a human perspective it's good news, but there is also a football element here, and the last thing Denver wants is to battle through locker room issues as they try to focus on their goal of winning a Super Bowl

Secondly, it's hard to tell how much of an impact Elway's comments actually have on this statement and whether or not it's simply the Broncos trying to put some expectations out there and to take any anthem controversy off the plate. 

Either way, do not expect to see a whole lot of controversy coming out of the Broncos pregame situation.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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