It didn’t take long for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans to put an end to his protest against Donald Trump’s election. Evans, who took a knee for the national anthem during Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, had said he was taking a stand against “how a reality star can be the president.”
In a statement released today and reported by ESPN, Evans says he has “very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today,” but that he wants to look for “more effective ways” to channel those feelings.
“With that being said, I will not sit again during the National Anthem because I want to focus my efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate my message and bring about change by supporting organizations and movements that fight for equal rights for minorities,” he said.
Evans went on to apologize to the military, saying he never meant any disrespect to people that serve. The game that Evans took a knee at happened to be the Buccaneers annual “Salute to Service” game.
It’s a quick reversal of decision for Evans, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, and who is in the third year of his four-year deal. Although there’s no word on whether or not there was any internal discussion by the team or coaching staff to start standing with his team, Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter had voiced some disapproval.
“Yeah, I’m disappointed for that,” Koetter said on Monday. “I also respect Mike’s freedom of speech and freedom of expression.”