Bucs' Mike Evans ends protest, stands for national anthem

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans rejoined his teammates Sunday, standing during the national anthem just prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Evans sat last week in protest of President-elect Donald Trump, saying he did not agree with Trump’s statements and attitude toward minorities, women and the LGBT community.

Evans and his teammates were booed when they took the field at Arrowhead Stadium, but it is unclear if it was aimed at the star receiver, and Chiefs fans typically boo opposing teams when they run out onto the field. One Chiefs fan standing near the tunnel even shouted, “We love you, Mike.” He admitted he was a Trump supporter and said that he respected Evans’ right to voice his opinion.

Evans vowed to sit for “as long as Trump is president-elect” but changed course Tuesday, saying that he would rejoin his teammates standing. He apologized several times for sitting during the national anthem before the Bucs’ Salute to Service game, a gesture that upset many members of the Tampa Bay community, which has over 12,000 active military members living there.

"If I had to do it over again, I would have done it differently, but I would still use my platform to help," Evans said, saying that the timing of his protest was poor.

"On the field, I'm going to continue to do what I do -- play hard. I'm playing hard because I've got this right -- freedom, because of the vets," Evans said. "I'm going to reach out to organizations, organizations that I feel are doing the best job to help the minority ... women, LGBT, African Americans, Latinos, people that are in fear of Donald Trump and his presidency."