The Denver Broncos’ linebacker Brandon Marshall lost another endorsement on Sept. 12 for his controversial protest against the national anthem.
CenturyLink followed Air Academy Federal Credit Union in withdrawing support for Marshall, The Denver Post reports.
The company said that while it respects his right as an American to show his dissent, his actions conflict with its values.
“While we acknowledge Brandon’s right, we also believe that whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation,” wrote CenturyLink in a statement. “In our view, the national anthem is one of those moments. For this reason, while we wish Brandon the best this season, we are politely terminating our agreement with him.”
Inspired by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Marshall decided to kneel during the national anthem before the NFL game as a protest against police brutality and racism, BET reports.
“I’m against social injustice. I’m not against the military, the police or America at all. I’m against social injustice,” Marshall explained.
“People that aren’t minorities, they don’t know what it’s like to be a minority in this country,” he added. “And I’m not saying it’s terrible. I love this country. We have great opportunities, but at the same time, if you’re not a minority you don’t understand. I speak for everybody when I say that, because I know they agree with me.”
Since then, Marshall has experienced intense backlash, ranging from withdrawal of endorsements to loss of fans. One man even set an orange shirt with Marshall’s name on it ablaze.
Despite the criticism, the once fan-favorite Marshall has no regrets, will kneel again during the Sept. 15 game, and says he sends love to all.
“It’s cool, because people can call me the N-word or cuss or at me or say they wish I’d break my neck all they want,” he said. “There’s no backlash from me. Hate can’t drive out hate. Only love can drive out hate.”