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. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame

    Blogs

    For Dave Andreychuk, the wait is finally over.

    Dave Andreychuk helped lead the Lightning to its only Stanley Cup in 2004.
  2. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers

    Blogs

    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.
  3. Timmy Claus is coming to town

    Blogs

    The circus is coming to town.

    Well, close enough.

    Timmy the Tebow is coming to Tampa Bay.

    It’s true. At least it could be. St. Timothy has been promoted by the New York Mets to high Class-A Port St. Lucie. If he stays promoted, Tebow should be in Tampa Bay for eight games beginning August 10 …

    Coming soon: Tim Tebow will hit Tampa Bay in August.
  4. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  5. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blogs

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.