As more players jump on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon and take a knee to protest the National Anthem and the flag, they are beginning to pay the price for their actions. Just like Kaepernick did.
Even though major corporations are sticking with the NFL through the scandal, some smaller businesses are cutting even marginal ties with the NFL and its players. Many of the players who knelt are feeling the backlash, including notable fan favorites like All-Pro linebacker Von Miller of the Denver Broncos.
After Miller took a knee this past Sunday, he lost plenty of shine off of his public image. He even lost an endorsement deal with a Denver-area car dealership, which pulled its ads featuring Miller from local television stations. Miller’s contract with the business is up for renewal, but the dealership has indicated they will likely cut ties with him over the incident.
A full statement from Phil Long Dealerships is below.
Last season, for his protests, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall lost sponsorship deals. Marshall knelt again Sunday before the game.
Marshall was later honored by Harvard for his stance on social injustice.
Phil Long Dealerships Statement:
We are evaluating the events of the weekend. It is important to state that we haven’t fired Von. We are in the middle of contract renewal and this weekend’s events remind us that sometimes we feel that we best represent ourselves. We support Von and his first amendment rights, we know Von and he’s a good person. He donated a police car to his hometown police dept. All that notwithstanding when we bring in celebrities to represent us we run the risk of being misrepresented.
We, like millions of Americans are concerned and will respond consistently with our values as a proud American company founded by a war hero (Phil Long). While we can’t control the actions of others we can be responsible for how we support our nation and community. That is why, years ago, our principal owner, Jay Cimino, founded the Mount Carmel Veteran’s Service center, and is supported by all Phil Long Dealerships. We support this cause not just with our words, but financially as well, and it is serving hundreds of veterans in need right here in Colorado. This would be a great time for our community to show support for our military community by supporting this cause or others that continue to serve them after they serve us. https://veteranscenter.org/
This is the first year Miler has participated in protests. Last year, his teammate, Brandon Marshall, knelt during the anthem. As a result, he lost several endorsement deals.
CenturyLink sent out a statement on Monday stating that the company respects Marshall’s decision not to stand during the national anthem but that “whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation.”
“In our view, the national anthem is one of those moments,” the statement reads.
On Friday, Air Force Credit Union announced they were ending their partnership with Marshall.
On Monday afternoon Marshall confirmed the news when speaking with reporters. He also told CBS4 he plans to continue to kneel during “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of Broncos games. Marshall said his action is a protest of injustice against African-Americans and other minorities in American society, and it follows the similar action of San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Marshall was a college teammate of Kaepernick’s at Nevada.
As the NFL boycott continues to take shape, we will likely begin to see more endorsement deals ending, as fans shift their focus from entire teams to the individual NFL player.