Mike Evans sits out national anthem in protest of Trump election
After the Bucs' 36-10 home win over the Bears on Sunday, receiver Mike Evans explained that he did not stand during the national anthem in protest of Donald Trump being elected in Tuesday's presidential elections.
"I'm not going to stand for something I don't believe in," Evans told WFLA in the locker room after the game. "I'm not big on politics. I told myself 'If this happens, then America's not right right now.' I said this a long time ago. When he ran, I thought it was a joke. And the joke continues. I'm not a political person that much, but I've got common sense. I know when something's not right."
Evans' comments came after he had talked about the game and his role in the Bucs' victory. He made it clear he meant in no way to take away from the "Salute to Service" annual military tribute the Bucs had Sunday, including an oath of enlistment at halftime and jets flying over the stadium after the national anthem.
"I don't want to disrespect the veterans or anything," he told WFLA. "The men and women that have served 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. When Ashton Kutcher comes out and says we've been punked, then I'll stand again. I won't stand anymore."
Evans didn't elaborate on what in particular he objected to about Trump's election, which had led to protests across the country. He made it clear his protest is different from that of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has kneeled during the anthem -- including against the Bucs last month -- to protest the country's views toward race. When asked why he was protesting, he spoke generally of who Trump is in his mind.
"For how a reality star can be the president," Evans told WFLA. "That's not a good look for America I don't think, for who he is. It's not about the Republican party, the Democratic party or anything like that. It's who he is. It's well-documented what he's done, and I'm not going to stand for something I don't believe in."
Evans went into Sunday's game leading the NFL with eight touchdown catches, and he had four catches for 66 yards in Sunday's win. The Bucs had no immediate comment on Evans' protest.