Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bucs' Mike Evans ends protest, will stand for national anthem

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) and quarterback Jameis Winston (3) observe the national anthem before a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) and quarterback Jameis Winston (3) observe the national anthem before a preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016.

TAMPA — Bucs receiver Mike Evans, who drew national backlash after sitting during the pregame national anthem Sunday in protest of Donald Trump's election as president, issued a statement Tuesday saying he had ended that protest.

"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," Evans said in a statement issued through his agent. "This Sunday, I will be back to standing with my teammates."

It went nearly unnoticed Sunday when Evans, 23, sat on a bench behind his teammates as a military choir sang the national anthem as part of the Bucs' Salute to Service festivities. Evans addressed the protest after Sunday's game, saying that Trump was a "joke" and that "I'm not going to stand for something I don't believe in."

His action quickly drew threats of boycotts of Bucs games from local politicians and fans, and coach Dirk Koetter said Monday he was personally "disappointed" by Evans' decision, which he found out about after the win over the Bears. "I also respect Mike's freedom of speech and freedom of expression," he said.

Evans' statement Tuesday addressed his frustration over Trump's election and the rationale behind his decision to sit during the anthem. Evans is registered to vote in Texas but said on Instagram last week that he did not vote, despite his opinion on Trump.

"I have very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today," Evans wrote. "I chose to sit as an expression of my frustration towards this year's election. It was very personal to me, as it was for so many Americans."

Evans reiterated, as he had in his comments Sunday night, that he meant no disrespect toward military personnel, especially knowing that his actions came during a tribute to their contributions and sacrifice.

"I want to start by apologizing to all the U.S. military members, their families and the fans who I offended by my actions on Sunday," he wrote. "It was never my intention, as I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country."

Bucs' Mike Evans ends protest, will stand for national anthem 11/15/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Back to .500, Rays feel ready to roll (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Who wants to be mediocre? Middling? Average? Run-of-the-mill?

    Rays catcher Jesus Sucre tags out the Angels’ Mike Trout trying to score from second base after a perfect peg from rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. in the first inning.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. preserves shutout with perfect throw

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The closest the Angels came to scoring off RHP Matt Andriese in Thursday's 4-0 Rays victory occurred in the first inning, when DH Mike Trout tried to score from second on a single to right. But the throw from RF Steven Souza Jr. was on the money, and Trout was out.

    "That …

    Colby Rasmus collects high fives and shoulder rubs after driving in all four of the Rays’ runs in their victory Thursday. Rasmus had two run-scoring hits a day after hitting a home run.
  3. Rays at Twins, 8:10 p.m. Friday, Minneapolis

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Twins

    8:10, Target Field, Minnesota

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (3-3, 3.76)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Thursday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    If you're walking, you're hitting, as the saying goes, so it's a good sign that RF Steven Souza Jr. reached base four times, with a hit by pitch, a single and two walks. Hitters feel they are coming out of slumps when they are walking, because they are seeing the ball better. That's good news for the Rays …

  5. Fennelly: Dirk Koetter's apology no way to keep this fidget spinning

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It all began with a fidget spinner.

    This tweet from the Bucs, mocking the Falcons' 28-3 lead they lost in the Super Bowl against the Falcons, prompted a public apology from head coach Dirk Koetter, who called it "unprofessional and not smart."