State Representative Chris Latvala didn’t hold back Monday.
He tweeted that Mike Evans was an “idiot” for sitting during the national anthem on a day his team honored veterans.
“My first reaction was one of anger,” he said.
Chris’ father State Senator Jack Latvala took it a step further, calling for a Buccaneers boycott.
But Tuesday, in a statemen,t Evans said “I want to start by apologizing to all to the US military members, their families, and the fans who I offended by my actions on Sunday.”
This statement comes after multiple reports on social media that the wide receiver didn't vote on Election Day.
Here's what Mike Evans told ABC Action News reporters on Sunday night.
Evans' agent, Josina Anderson, tweeted out the apology at 10:02 a.m. on Tuesday.
Evans says he apologizes to the members of the U.S. military, their families and the Tampa Bay fans who were offended by his actions before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.
He explained that he had strong emotions toward some of the issues that exist right now.
Then he went on to promise to stand during future National Anthems and he would focus his efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate the issues he feels so strongly about.
I want to start by apologizing to all the U.S. military members, their families, and the fans who I offended by my actions on Sunday. It was never my intention as I have tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country.
I have very strong emotions regarding some of the many issues that exist in our society today. I chose to sit as an expression of my frustration towards this year’s election. It was very personal for me, as it was for so many Americans.
With that being said, I will not sit again during the National Anthem because I want to focus my efforts on finding more effective ways to communicate my message and bring about change by supporting organizations and movements that fight for equal rights for minorities.
This Sunday, I will be back to standing with my teammates.
Latvala who was even going to take the drastic step of dropping Evans from his fantasy football team said he excepts the apology.
“I think if there’s a lesson to learn that didn’t like the result of the election last Tuesday, that is the importance of voting,” he said.
On Twitter you can find every opinion under the sun.
Many applauded the apology. Like a post saying “I respect Mike Evans even more. It takes a big man to do what he’s done & a bigger man to admit what your’ve done is counter productive.”
But others said Evans should not have backed down.
One post said, “Lost all respect for Mike Evans, stand by your conviction and don’t allow media/coach pressure to make you go against what you believe.”
We don’t know if Evans changed his mind because of pressure from his coach or one the businesses he helps promote.
As for State Senator Jack Latvala who had called for the boycott: Tuesday he tweeted “Thank you Mike Evans. You are quite a young man. Hope to have the opportunity to meet you someday. Go Bucs!.”