There are many discussions taking place ahead of the 2020 NFL season, many of which revolve around players kneeling during the national anthem. Opinions are split on the matter, but Denver Broncos President and CEO Joe Ellis has shown support. He said that the team would support any player that decides to kneel as a form of peaceful protest.
"On the anthem, everyone's got a right to do as they please, express themselves as they feel," Ellis told reporters on Tuesday. "I'm going to respect that. We're going to respect that as an organization. I think once we get down to 53, my guess is that the players will meet and convene. They may want to do something as a team.
"I will be there to listen and learn. It's been an eye-opening period of about three months now. As I said, I'm going to respect — whatever it is that they decided to do we're going to stand by that as an organization."
Ellis does not know if the protests will take place, and he will have to wait until the season opener to see the result. The NFL canceled the preseason as part of its latest agreement with the NFLPA. The Broncos will not take the field until Sept. 14 when they play the Tennessee Titans.
If the players kneel in protest, it will not be the first time. They previously did so in 2017. President Donald Trump said that teams should fire players for kneeling and referred to them as "sons of b—es." More than 30 members of the team knelt on the sideline after the comments. The following season, linebacker Brandon Marshall and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas remained in the locker room during the national anthem.
Trump has made many comments about the NFL and the national anthem in the following years. He vowed "to boycott" professional football if the players kneel during the 2020 season. He also made similar comments about Major League Soccer and other leagues that allowed the athletes to kneel.
"Tony Fauci has nothing to do with NFL Football. They are planning a very safe and controlled opening. However, if they don't stand for our National Anthem and our Great American Flag, I won't be watching!!!" Trump tweeted in late June. He tweeted this in response to Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying that NFL players would have to test players every day and keep them in a bubble to ensure their safety.