It didn’t take long for Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall to see real backlash for his decision to kneel during the national anthem Thursday night.
The protesting athlete lost an endorsement deal Friday with a Denver-based credit union that serves thousands of U.S. military servicemen and women.
Marshall generated widespread criticism for his decision to take a knee during the national anthem prior to Thursday’s NFL season opener between his Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
“Although we have enjoyed Brandon Marshall as our spokesperson over the past five months, Air Academy Federal Credit Union has ended our partnership,” the AAFCU said in a statement Friday. “AAFCU is a membership-based organization who has proudly served the military community for over 60 years.
“While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors.”
Marshall isn’t the first NFL player to kneel during the anthem as a protest against incidents of police brutality in the United States, but he is the first league athlete to lose an endorsement deal for it.
“I’m not against the police. I’m not against the military. I’m not against America. I’m against social injustice,” Marshall said Thursday. “People are going to bash me on social media but at the end of the day I’m going to go home and sleep peacefully knowing what I did was right. I will not lose any sleep.”
Marshall was a college teammate of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was the first NFL player this season to refuse to stand for the anthem in protest of various occurrences of controversial police shootings in the United States.
“It is what it is; I’m standing up for what I believe in,” Marshall added. “I know my family will support me.”
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