The NFL’s Denver Broncos announced that team members and coaches would stand together before Sunday’s game in respect for the national anthem, the country and its veterans, Fox News reported Saturday. The Broncos will be hosting the Oakland Raiders in a nationally televised game on CBS.
In a joint statement that also was posted to the team’s Twitter account, the 52-member squad said its actions last week were "in no way a protest of the military, the flag or those who keep us safe."
The statement comes a few days after Broncos executive John Elway -- who led Denver to victory in Super Bowl XXXII in January 1998 -- said he believes in standing for the anthem.
"Take the politics out of football," Elway said.
The team's statement also explained its demonstrations from the past week:
"Last week, members of our team joined their brothers around the NFL in a powerful display of unity. As controversial as it appeared, we needed to show our collective strength and resolve," the Broncos said.
The team said its locker room is very diverse, but that being members of the same squad unite them as a team.
"No matter how divisive some comments and issues can be, nothing should get in the way of that," the team said, appearing to reference President Donald Trump's comments in Alabama last week about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. The president suggested that players who took a knee should be fired from their teams, Fox News reported.
Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller, who helped lead the team's demonstrations last week, said after that game that Trump "assaulted" their freedom of speech and that "we had to do something."
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