Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Cook/PR
A day after reversing his position on not standing for the National Anthem, Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans stood at his locker to face the media, explaining his decision in more detail.
“The City of Tampa is big on the military. I know I’ve hurt a lot of people by doing what I did,” Evans said. “I’m sorry to those who are truly affected by what I did, to those who are disappointed in what I did, and to my teammates. From now on, don’t worry. I will continue to use my platform.”
Evans told the throng of media surrounding him that the decision to change his mind came from him, not under the pressure of the organization.
“On my own, it felt awkward when I sat and my teammates are all standing up, you know, I’m a team guy,” Evans said. “I’m going to use my voice to help the minorities.”
Evans knew he would receive some backlash from the public.
“It’s what I expected. Some people were saluting me, some people were showing evil, and a lot of hate,” Evans said. “It’s what I expected. That’s the problem that I had, and that’s why I did what I did, but I can’t change it. I apologize to the military.
“I just want people to understand that you can’t just hate somebody because they have different beliefs and different views than you. That’s the problem, that’s why I did what I did. That’s what I want people to understand, you can’t just wish harm on somebody because they have different beliefs than you, everyone didn’t grow up the same. That’s why I did what I did.”
Much of the fan frustration with Evans anti-Donald Trump stance was based on reports that he didn’t vote in this election. Evans explained why.
“I know seen that I said I didn’t vote, that I don’t do politics and things like that,” Evans said. “Thing is, I tried to vote, but I realized I’m a voter in Texas and it was too late, to take proper actions to do it, but it’s my fault.”
Evans told the media that despite the fact he will stand, he will still use his position as a professional athlete to raise awareness for social injustices.
“On the field I’m going to continue doing what I do, play hard. I’m playing hard, because I have this right,” Evans said. “I’m going to reach out to organizations, the organizations that are doing the best job to show support to the minorities.
“Minorities, women, LGBT, African-Americans, Latinos, the people that are in fear of Donald Trump and his presidency. Yes, my means of protest are changing. But I still will be fighting for the minorities.”
Despite his protest on Sunday prior to the Bears game, Evans said he always had a respect for the National Anthem.
“When I was a kid, man, I loved standing for the national anthem,” Evans said. “”And I still do love standing for the National Anthem because you know, I think of our troops but most importantly I think of the American population and everybody as a whole and our leader, who our leader is and there’s going to be some foggy area there but I will stand.
“I just said earlier, I would do it differently but I would still use my voice and my platform.”
Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, surfing and family time at the beach. In addition, Cook can be found in front of a television or in Doak Campbell any time the FSU Seminoles are playing. Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
Most of you may have noticed that I have a penchant for saying something about everything, but said nothing about Mike Evans and I’m loathe to say anything now!
I have an aversion to the smell of ammonia therefore I am not apt to enter pissing contests. Mike Evans did what he did on his own and resolved it on his own – all without my intervention or words of wisdom. Good for him, good for his team, and good for the game!
Mark Cook said it best when he said it’s hard to walk in somebody else’s shoes. I imagine it would be even more difficult to tell them how to live their lives – I wouldn’t know, I’ve never tried to do that before.
All of us have experienced or at least felt some form of discrimination in our lives either by race, creed, religion, sexual orientation, physical disability, political affiliation and more. Lots of opportunity for hate isn’t it? If you haven’t yet you will by virtue of becoming aged one day. How you respond to it will most likely be driven by your own life experiences. I wouldn’t know that either, but seems reasonable to me.
So for me personally, I seek tolerance, understanding, and longsuffering in the scheme of things – go along and get along without compromising the beliefs and virtues that define who I am. The right to swing my fists stops at the other guy’s nose!
I end this diatribe in jest as I always begin – just stay off my damn lawn and you will have no problem with me! Lol.
Your words always reflect your wisdom, so wise and thoughtful. Would love to know you better. Me, I’m more of a wise ass.
What I had to say about the incident I have posted elsewhere. I too am just one individual. I am in harmony with what you have said and with comments I heard from Tony Dungy on the radio earlier today.
I just want to add that the hurt and agony that soldiers endure last for the rest of their lives. The freedoms already attained in our society and the justice still to come in the future are what most who have served think or want to truly believe is what they are fighting for.
Peace, out …
@ Mike Evans, there’s no need for you to apologize. As an old white guy I applaud what you did and hope you continue to exercise your right to speak out for those who don’t have your platform. I voluntarily served 4 years in the USAF in the Vietnam era, and took no offense to what you did. Donald Trump will lower the federal tax that you will have to pay, which will benefit you but not our country. He’ll do the same for corporate interests and the super wealthy, including himself and his family. America will suffer and survive. I’m proud of you as a Buccaneer and as an American.
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