Following the presidential election won by Donald Trump last Tuesday, multiple protests have risen up across several major cities nationwide with mostly peaceful demonstrations.
On Sunday a one-man protest against Trump started at Raymond James Stadium during the singing of the National Anthem when Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans chose to not stand.
Evans said the protest wasn’t meant to disrespect the U.S. military.
“I don’t want to disrespect the veterans or anything,” Evans said. “The men and women that serve 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.”
Evans heard a smattering of displeasure from some fans who noticed.
“I heard a little bit and it was from the people who I expected.”
Evans went on to explain his protest and issue.
“I told myself, ‘If this character (Donald Trump) – I’m not big on politics or things like that – but I told myself, ‘If this happens, then America is not right right now.’ I said it a long time ago. When he ran I thought it was a joke. The joke continues.
“As long as he’s the President-elect. I’m not a political person that much, but I have common sense. And I know when something is not right.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the controversial movement back during the preseason, citing the mistreatment of African-Americans by police officers nationwide among other issues. But Evans said that isn’t his motive.
“Yeah, I know Kaepernick did it for that. I’m doing it for a different reason, for how a reality star can be the president,” Evans said standing by his locker following the Bucs 36-10 win over the Bears. “That’s not a good look for America.”
Evans had one more statement about Trump.
“Because of who he is. 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. That’s the end of that.”
The Buccaneers released a statement late Sunday evening regarding Evans’ decision: “The Buccaneers are deeply committed to the military and honoring the great men and women that have dedicated their lives and have made great sacrifices to insure all the tremendous freedoms we have in this great country. We encourage all members of our organization to respectfully honor our flag during the playing of the National Anthem. We also recognize every individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American principles we cherish.”