Tampa Bay Bucs’ wide receiver Mike Evans will not stand for Donald Trump‘s presidency.
Evans, the Bucs’ starting receiver, sat during the national anthem on Sunday. He said later the reason was Trump’s election.
“I’m not a big fan of politics or anything like that,” Evans said. “But I told myself, ‘If this happens, America is not right, right now. When he ran, I thought it was a joke. The joke continues.”
Evans admitted he did not vote.
Bucs’ coach Dirk Koetter was concerned about how Evans’ decision might affect the team.
“I hope it doesn’t affect our team and that’s something that I’ll take whatever measures necessary that I think are necessary to try to minimize what effect it has on our team,” Koetter said. “I’m really not sure. This is uncharted water for me and I’m not sure about any of that.”
Earlier in the season, Koetter had this to say about protests:
“We, believe it or not, have practiced how to line up for the national anthem, we’ve worked on it,” Koetter said at the time. “I don’t know if our organization has the right to tell a guy that he needs to do that. I would be disappointed if any of our players didn’t stand up for the national anthem, personally. I look at that as a salute to the people who have paved the way for us, but at the same time this is a free country and I think freedom of speech is something that we all believe in, and freedom of expression. That’s an individual’s choice, that’s a fine line there. I would personally be disappointed, but I think it would be hard to enforce that rule.’
Evans said his protest differs from that of Colin Kaepernick, who is against the treatment of racial minorities.
Sunday, the Bucs had a “Salute to Service” day, which honors members of the military.
“I don’t want to disrespect the veterans or anything,” Evans said. “The men and women who served this country — I’m forever indebted to them. But the things that have been going on in America lately, I’m not going to stand for that.
“It’s not about the Republican Party or the Democratic Party or anything like that,” Evans said. “It’s just who he is. It’s well documented what he’s done. I’m not going to stand for something I don’t believe in.”