FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall caused a stir on Tuesday when he called San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick “one of the biggest patriots” for refusing to stand during the national anthem at two recent 49ers preseason games.
Kaepernick claims he didn’t want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Wednesday, at the Jets training complex in New Jersey, Marshall further expounded on his idea that Kaepernick is a “patriot” by responding to a question with a two-and-a-half minute answer. He took no follow-up questions.
“It’s an interesting time for all of us,” Marshall said. “We all have causes. My thing is Project 375 Mental Health Awareness. Boomer [Esiason], one of my colleagues on Showtime, his thing is Cystic Fibrosis. There’s other guys in this locker room that are passionate about things and they have foundations. Matt Forté, he’s really passionate about the high school drop-out rate in Chicago.
“I think there [are] things that trump all of those causes. When it comes to human rights—when you believe in one thing, you believe in all. I spent a lot of time last week listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I listened to almost all of his speeches online. I downloaded the album again. One of the things he always done was he spoke his mind. He always spoke it out of truth and love. He did it in a way where he had friends on both sides. I think that’s the best way, where you sit at the table.”
Marshall sparred with Boomer Esiason on New York radio this week over Kaepernick sitting during the song. Marshall called Esiason “100 percent wrong” in response to the former Cincinnati Bengals QB earlier calling Kaepernick “disrespectful” and “under informed.”
“It’s interesting because that was the Civil Rights Movement back then,” Marshall continued on Wednesday in Florham Park. “This is another civil rights movement, like it or not. This is a civil rights movement, it’s a civil rights issue. Martin Luther King did an amazing job of making sure that everyone was at the table. What I mean by that is he never once went against America. He always said America was an amazing nation, whether he believed that or not.
“I say that because to get things done, you have to do it in a way where everyone is at the table. For me, I think it’s an amazing time and I think that we’re going to see a lot of change. Nothing is new. These issues have been around forever. The only thing that’s changed is technology and we get the information faster. We’re able to capture it. I’m excited about the times we’re in because we’re talking about it. We’ll see what happens and how we’re going to affect change with these protests and some of the things that people are talking about.”
Whether Marshall meant it as a oblique criticism of Kaepernick by saying King “never once went against America,” he never explained. Breitbart Sports wanted to ask Marshall about Kaepernick’s socks with pigs in police uniforms or the quarterback’s Fidel Castro shirt, but the interview was shut down after this long, somewhat vague statement. A team official said the wide receiver needed to get to a meeting.