Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' Mike Evans: 'I know I hurt a lot of people' by not standing for the national anthem

RECOMMENDED READING


Receiver Mike Evans said he always loved standing for the national anthem. But when he joins his Bucs teammates in line for the Star Spangled Banner Sunday at Kansas City as he has vowed to do, he said it will be with mixed emotions.

"When I was a kid, man, I used to love standing for the national anthem and I still love standing for the National Anthem,'' Evans said Wednesday. "I think of our troops, but most importantly, I think of the American population and everybody as a whole. And I think of our leader. I think of who our leader is, so it's going to be some foggy area there but I will stand.''

Evans, 23, came under fire from fans who threatened to boycott Bucs games, politicians and members of the military when he decided to sit for the anthem prior to Sunday's 36-10 win over the Chicago Bears in protest of the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Monday he was "disappointed," in Evans' decision but respected his First Amendment rights.

Making matters worse, it was the Bucs' Salute to Service Day with hundreds of military personnel and their families at Raymond James Stadium.

"I know it hits home for a lot of people and this city of Tampa is big for the military and I know I hurt a lot of people by doing what I did so I want to apologize to them,'' Evans said. "To the people that were really affected by what I did and to the people that are disappointed in my decision to stand with teammates from now on, don't worry, I'm going to continue to use my voice and my platform for minority rights.''

Evans confirmed Wednesday he did not vote in the presidential election he was protesting, but said that's only because he discovered he was registered in Texas and the deadline had passed for an absentee ballot.

"I know people saw I didn't vote and I don't do politics and things like that, but the funny thing is I tried to vote and I realized I'm a voter in Texas, I'm registered in Texas, and it was too late when I tried to take the action to do it. But that's my fault. It won't happen again.''

Evans said he did not make any coached or teammates aware of his protest last Sunday.

"On my own. I didn't want to bring that type of negative energy to my teammates,'' Evans said. "It felt awkward when I sat, seeing my teammates all stand up. You know, I'm a team guy, so I'm going to use my voice and my platform to help minorities in a different way.''

However, Evans said he was prepared for the backlash he received following the game. In the post-game locker room, he said, "I said this a long time ago. When (Trump) ran, I thought it was a joke. And the joke continues.''

"It was what I expected,'' Evans said of the reaction. "Some people were saluting me. Some people showed a lot of heat and a lot of hate and it's what I expected. That's the problem that I had and that's why I did what I did. I can't change it. But I apologize to the military. I know that hit home to a lot of people.

"I mean, I just want people to understand you can't hate somebody because they have different beliefs or different views than you and that's the problem. That's why I did what I did. I want people to understand you just can't wish hard on anybody just because they have different beliefs than you. Not everybody grows up the same. Everybody is exposed to different things growing up. That's why I did what I did.''

Evans grew up as the son of a biracial family in Galveston, Texas, which is nearly one-third Hispanic.

"I'm half black and half white,'' Evans said. "I'm multi-cultured and people shouldn't feel that way toward other people because we're all human beings.

"The way people grow up, it shapes the way they think and the way they do certain things. I grew up with a mixed population, white, Hispanic and black. I feel all people are equal.''

Which minorities will Evans use his platform to be the voice for?

"On the field, I'm going to continue to do what I do and play hard. I'm playing hard because I've got this right, I've got this freedom from the vets and things like that,'' Evans said. "I'm going to reach out to organizations. The organizations I feel that are doing the best job to help minorities. Minorities, women, LBGT, you know, African Americans, Latinos — the people that are in fear of the president.''

Comments
Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Dolphins preview

Greg Auman has a final preview of Sunday’s Bucs-Dolphins game in Miami in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.He talks about key matchups to watch for, from perhaps the NFL’s best slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, to Miami’s vulnerabilities at right tackl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

Bucs journal: DB Vernon Hargreaves will miss Sunday’s game with hamstring injury

TAMPA — The Bucs will play Sunday against the Dolphins without Vernon Hargreaves, who has been their nickel defensive back the past two games.Hargreaves, the 2016 first-round pick out of Florida and a former Wharton High standout, has been ruled out ...
Published: 11/17/17
Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

Fennelly: If this is true, Jameis Winston is done in this town

TAMPA — Why should we believe this man?Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the NFL concerning an allegation of him groping a female Uber driver in Scottsdale, Ariz., in March 2016.Winston denied the allegations Friday in a statem...
Published: 11/17/17
Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

Jameis Winston accused of groping Uber driver

TAMPA — The NFL is investigating an allegation that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.Winston called the allegations "false" and contested the unnamed female driver’s assertion that he was her only p...
Published: 11/17/17
Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Uber called Jameis Winston about ‘you or someone in the vehicle with you’

Tampa Bay Times has listened to a voicemail Jameis Winston received from Uber relating to the March 2016 incident in Arizona.The NFL is investigating the allegations that Winston grabbed a female Uber driver's crotch in 2016.In the call, someone...
Published: 11/17/17

Jameis Winston says groping allegations are ‘false’

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston denied allegations by an Arizona Uber driver that he groped her in 2016. The NFL confirmed it is investigating the incident.Winston released a statement on his Twitter account saying the driver was 'confused,' by the n...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Bucs’ linemen ready for challenge of containing Dolphins’ Suh

Asked if Miami's Ndamukong Suh is the toughest defensive tackle he's gone against, Bucs center Ali Marpet stops short of an answer."I'll let you know after the game," said Marpet, preparing for Sunday's game against the Dolphins as the Bucs seek thei...
Published: 11/17/17
Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Bucs-Dolphins: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game

Here’s the Times’ Bucs coverage team’s predictions for Tampa Bay’s 1 p.m. game Sunday at Miami:LET’S GO STREAKINGRick Stroud, @NFLStroud: It’s been 11 months since the Bucs had a winning streak. That was when they posted five W’s in a row with a win ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

Rick and Tom podcast: Will the Bucs make it two wins in a row?

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones actually agree on their prediction for the Bucs-Dolphins game that will see Ryan Fitzpatrick make his second straight start in place of the injured Jameis Winston. They’ll give you the keys to the ga...
Published: 11/17/17
NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

NFL Week 11: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions

Below are the Times staff picks for week 11 of the NFL season:GameTime/DayErnest Hooper, @hoop4youTom Jones, @tomwjonesMartin Fennelly, @mjfennellyThomas Bassinger, @tometricsGreg Auman, @gregaumanRick Stroud, @NFLStroudAgainst the spread (last week)...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17