Tampa Bay receiver sits during national anthem, calls Trump election ‘a joke’

Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston celebrate a touchdown against the 49ers last month.
Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans and quarterback Jameis Winston celebrate a touchdown against the 49ers last month. AP

Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans became the latest NFL player to hold a silent protest during the national anthem on Sunday.

Evans’ reasoning for sitting on Sunday, however, was different than others as he sat on the bench to protest the results of our most recent and contentious presidential election.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Evans said he isn’t “big on politics” but felt that the election of Donald Trump was “a joke.”

“I told myself, 'if this happens, America is not right,’’ Evans said according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“When [Trump] ran, I thought it was a joke. And the joke continues. I'm not a political person that much, but I've got common sense. I know when something's not right.”

Evans said he would stand for the anthem again “if Ashton Kutcher comes out and says 'We've been Punk'd,' I'll stand again, but I won't stand anymore.”

Evans was the only Tampa Bay player to sit or take a knee during the playing of the anthem before the host Buccaneers beat Chicago 36-10. Evans caught four passes for 66 yards and was held without a touchdown.



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As for the silent protest started by San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the preseason, Evans says his reasons are different.

“I'm doing it for a different reason, for how a reality star can be the president,” Evans said. “That's not a good look.”

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The Buccaneers put out a statement Sunday saying the team is “deeply committed to the military and honoring the great men and women that have dedicated their lives and have made great sacrifices to insure all the tremendous freedoms we have in this great country. We encourage all members of our organization to respectfully honor our flag during the playing of the National Anthem. We also recognize every individual's constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American principles we cherish.”

Evans protest came during the Buccaneers’ annual ‘Salute to Service’ presentation.

“I don't want to disrespect the veterans or anything,” Evans said. “The men and women that served 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.”