Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans says he's "not big on politics." He is disheartened by the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States.
The third-year pro said he sat during the national anthem before Sunday's game between the Buccaneers and Chicago Bears because he feels electing a reality television star to the highest office in the nation is "not a good look for America."
"I don't want to disrespect the veterans or anything. The men and women that serve 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," Evans said. [[247269581, C]]
U.S. & World
"I told myself, 'If this character' -- I'm not big on politics or things like that -- but I told myself, 'If this happens, then America is not right right now,'" Tampa Bay's leading receiver added. "I said it a long time ago. When he ran I thought it was a joke. The joke continues."
The Buccaneers did not have an immediate comment on the protest.
Evans had four catches for 66 yards against the Bears. He entered Sunday leading the league in touchdown receptions with eight.
Evans said he'll continue to sit for the anthem as long as Trump is President-elect.
"I'm not a political person that much, but I have common sense," he said. "And I know when something is not right."
Evans reiterated that his protest was because of who Trump is, not the Republican or Democratic parties.
"It's well documented what he's done," Evans said. "I'm not going to stand for something I don't believe in. That's the end of that."
Evans' protest is the latest in a string of demonstrations by NFL players, sparked in August by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who sat, then kneeled, for the playing of the anthem to call attention to the oppression of minorities across the United States.
Since then, Kaepernick has been joined by several other NFL players, including four members of the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall.
While some have expressed support for the message of the demonstrations, the protests have sparked outrage among others, including local police unions in Miami and San Francisco, both of which have threatened some form of boycott.
This is the second time a protest has occurred before a Bears game. In September, several members of the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists in the air during the anthem ahead of their game against the Bears at Soldier Field.