Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR
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.”
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]
Can we please not make this a huge thing. If he feels a certain way he has the freedom to express himself, whether you agree with him or not. This doesn’t have to become a huge deal.
Sorry Mike you took that kind of a stand. I suggest in the future you help to support your candidate more before the voters go to the polls. I hope you actually voted too. You’re a young guy so I know you don’t get it yet why we don’t disrespect our flag. Many have Fallen because they believe in our Democracy; you did disrespect them whether you realized it or not.
It turns out he did not vote.
Mike, Mike, Mike…c’mon man. I still love you because you’re still real young and naive, but please go have a conversation with Vincent Jackson about this. My father, a colonel in the Army, died in the line of duty. It makes me very angry when people talk through the national anthem, but to sit? Bro, you have to find another way to protest. Please don’t continue to disrespect those that serve our country. You hurt not only those currently serving and those that gave their life for this country, but their families too.
If you continue to sit, I’m not going to stop cheering for you because I think you’re truly a good dude with a good heart, but it will be disappointing. Like him or not, Trump is our president. It’s done! We can’t go back, so let’s get together…not sit and cause further division. Peace!
Good to see the young man taking an active interest how one responds to issues that bother him – hopefully he isn’t one of those who simply jump in when he gets the itch – I presume he has a solid history of community service as well as participating in voting when anticipated.
By doing what you are doing you are disrespecting yourself. I feel sorry for you.
Mike, you obviously have bee mislead somewhere. Now you are joining the band of misfits that are not accepting the results of our democracy. Shame on you! I know you have a right to do what you did but in the eyes of your fans, you haven disappointed them tremendously. The arguments you gave for doing what you did show you are immature and very misinformed. Again, shame on you!
He does realize that the state he plays in was one of the large reasons for why Trump was elected right? Why not just tell the press his 2 cents and leave the national anthem out of it, it has the same affect of people caring about his opinion and the same affect of change that will never happen.
Just lost all respect for him. I don’t vote for Obama, but I took 8 years of him and never protested or even thought about not standing for national anthem. I voted and accepted that my candidate lost. The people spoke, its a democracy, deal with it you bunch of frigging cry babies.
It’s not a big deal Matthew? No big deal he disrespects this great country so close to Vetarans day with all the men and woman that have died for our freedom. You sir are a moron.
I understand what you are saying. It was extremely poorly timed but what I meant is I don’t want this to drag out because we can’t change what he did. Blast him all you want it won’t change anything, just like him kneeling will change nothing.
The rednecks are gonna be all butt hurt over this one.
Hey Fredsterr good to see you like to resort to name calling. Mike Evans is entitled to his opinion. and guess what
his opinion isnt different from yours anyway. it has nothing to do with the military. wake up
While I agree that he has a right to do so, he picked a bad weekend to do it. Why not start next week? Anywho, I voted for Trump and disagree with Mike completely on this, but again, it’s his right. As long as it’s not a distraction to the team, I could care less.
Yes no need to drag this out and make it a huge deal, whats done is done.
…as long as it’s not a distraction to the team.
Unfortunately, this will be a media spit storm and will be not only a distraction, but is probably going to be the nail in the coffin for the rest of the season. At least we will have a scapegoat that is not a coach this year.
Good for him, takes courage to stand up (no pun intended) for something you believe in, even if it’s unpoplular
First off, as a veteran I’ll tell u that the national anthem and the flag represent our country and those who have fought and died for our freedoms. Sitting during the anthem IS disrespecting the entire nation and all those who have fought for it.
Trump won the election, therefore he is president. That’s how democracy works! Like it or not, the winner of the election is president for 4 years. People need to get over it and stop protesting every time they don’t like a certain outcome.
Mike is young and naïve, like 95% of these protesters. It’s the flavor of the week to “stand up” against perceived injustices. Are there things happening in this country that need to be changed? Of course, but don’t crap on your entire country and all it stands for just because the candidate you wanted didn’t win
Flavor of the week?!? Did you sleep through US History??
Just what US History lesson is he missing?
Um the part where we stand up to injustice after injustice? From no taxation without representation to slavery to African American/women’s rights…the list goes on. We have ALWAYS stood up against perceived injustices. It’s in our core. (Ironically, it’s what our military has done on our behalf and on behalf of other countries in need repeatedly. And in fact, the rest of the world looks to us to be that type of leader)
I could keep going but I’d have to charge you two for tutoring you in the things you missed in middle school.
I agree that this protest was maybe mistimed given that it was Veteran’s Day weekend. But…
I would guess that the overwhelming majority of commenters here are white males. (That doesn’t make me reverse racist or whatever is running through your heads right now, hear me out).
This election – this candidate – does not just represent differences in fiscal policy or government reach. The President-elect’s comments are hateful and bigoted and embody the complete opposite of what this country stands for. The protesters are not fighting against his policies but instead fighting against that unempathetic bigotry that so many across the nation have embraced as acceptable and anti-PC.
If you truly did fight for our country, thank you. But if you think Mike’s protests are wrong or that this President’s comments are okay, then you did not know what you were fighting for.
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