Denver Broncos announce they will stand for the anthem as a team

Shutdown Corner

If you’re an NFL fan who wants the focus to shift from the national anthem demonstrations to actual football, the Denver Broncos are the team for you.

The Broncos will all stand for the anthem, the team announced on Thursday. The Broncos were among the teams that had players demonstrate last Sunday, and said in the statement, “Our voices needed to be heard loud and clear.” But the message said the players are a team and they “stand together” and will do so starting Sunday.

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One of the biggest questions this week around the NFL is if teams and players will continue to demonstrate. Last week’s league-wide demonstrations were in reaction to inflammatory comments by President Donald Trump, but Trump has continued to bash the NFL in various ways this week. Make no mistake: If players stand this week, he will take credit for that.

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It’s worth noting that the most influential person in the Broncos organization, by far, is general manager John Elway. Elway, who attended Trump’s inauguration earlier this year, said this week he understood the players’ position but he wanted to “Take the politics out of football.”  

(Elway wasn’t interested in “taking politics out of football” in March when he endorsed Trump’s Supreme Court nominee on letterhead the team claims was not official Broncos letterhead but had a huge Broncos logo at the top of the page.) 

While the Broncos said the players decided to stand for the anthem, it’s worth wondering how many players were concerned about going against their boss if they didn’t.

Either way, the Broncos will be standing. This is after Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “I’m an advocate for those that simply want to do their jobs.” Perhaps we’re getting closer to the anthem not being the biggest story of this week’s football games.

Broncos players, including Jamaal Charles (28) kneel during the national anthem prior to a Week 3 game. (AP)
Broncos players, including Jamaal Charles (28) kneel during the national anthem prior to a Week 3 game. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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