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Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall kneels in anthem protest

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Football News

The opening game of the NFL season on Thursday night saw yet another player using the stage as a civil rights protest.

Denver Broncos starting linebacker Brandon Marshall knelt during the national anthem before his team's 21-20 win over the Carolina Pathers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

"I'm not against the military, police or America. I'm against social injustice," Marshall said after the game according to ESPN. He also confirmed that this was not a one-off event and that he will continue to kneel during the anthem for the rest of the season.

When the players initially lined up for the anthem, Marshall was at the end of the line of Broncos players as he took a knee. He did not change his stance until the song was completed, in stark contrast to his teammates who stayed in a standing position throughout.

It is notable that Marshall, who is active in community service, was a teammate of Colin Kaepernick's at Nevada. It was Kaepernick that was first noticed protesting during the anthem before preseason games.

Marshall, who was the Broncos second leading tackler during their Super Bowl title run last year, also said that he was using his stance as a platform to create dialogue. 

He knows these actions will make him a polarizing figure, but with the increased discussion Marshall believes the hate mail is worth it.

Twitter reactions were predictably mixed.

There was also a section of the Twitter reaction that was unintentionally hilarious as people failed to realize there are two players in the league named Brandon Marshall.

With the world set to watch a full slate of NFL games for the first time in 2016 this weekend, it will be interesting to see if the actions of Marshall and Kaepernick are unique or the start of a trend.

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Denver Broncos
Colin Kaepernick
Carolina Panthers

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