Last week, former New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason blasted Colin Kaepernick and his protesting the discrimination of African Americans in the United States by not standing for the national anthem.
“It was one of the most disgraceful displays I’ve ever seen by a professional athlete on his field of play,” Esiason said, according to NJ.com. “He signed a contract with an NFL football team. He has on an NFL football helmet. He has got an NFL uniform on. He doesn’t have the right, I don’t believe, to now start putting out his own political views in that form.”
“This guy, he is one of the biggest patriots out there, because he’s standing up for human rights," the Jets receiver said.
“I totally disagree with what Boomer said last week. I read his comments, and I think he was 100 percent wrong, and I love Boomer," Marshall said earlier in thei conversation. "And you know, and I know, your father served our country, and he’s one of the reasons we walk around with so much freedom today. But I disagree.”
Marshall argued that there's nothing wrong with expecting more from the United States, and taking peaceful measures toward reaching that expectation.
“When I look at the American flag, I see a bunch of fights," he said. "You know, how much we have overcome. And when you look at it, the American flag is bigger than just one state. And, you know, you have the civil rights movement, you have sex trafficking, you have, you know, immigration law. There’s so many different fights there and, you know, we have to be aware that it’s bigger than just one person and one thing.”
The six-time Pro-Bowler is an activist in his own right but in an entirely different realm. In 2011, Marshall was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and since he's launched two foundations—Project Borderline and Project 375—to help spread awareness about the mental illness and eliminate the stigma that comes from being diagnosed with BPD.
After a discussion with long snapper Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret, before his team's final preseason game, Kaepernick started kneeling rather than sitting through the national anthem as a form of honoring the nation's armed forces while continuing his protest.