Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans said he’s felt the sting of ‘evil and hate’ following his decision to sit during the National Anthem Sunday.
He said he should have done things differently in his attempt to protest the election of Donald Trump.
“I don’t want to bring that type of negative energy toward my teammates,” he said.
Mike Evans intended to make a statement.
But he said he realized he hurt a lot of people by sitting for the National Anthem, especially those in the military.
He no longer wants to be a distraction.
“It felt awkward when I sat, to see my teammates all stand up. You know I’m a team guy,” Evans said.
Social media went wild with opinions about what Evans did.
Some supporting him.
Others bashing him.
He said that included racial slurs.
Evans also took a lot of criticism for protesting without voting.
“The funny thing is, I tried to vote, and I realized I’m a voter in Texas, registered in Texas and it was too late when I tried to take the actions to do it. But that’s my fault and it won’t happen again,” he said.
Evans says through it all, his teammates have had his back. That includes quarterback Jameis Winston.
“Mike is a standup guy. He’s one of the greatest guys on this team. And what he does on the field, what he does off the field, the type of man he is speaks for just itself,” said Winston.
“When I was a kid I used to love standing for the national anthem. And I still do love standing for the national anthem. I think of our troops, but most importantly I think of the American population as a whole. And I think of our leader. It’s going to be some foggy area there, but I will stand,” said Evans.
Evans said he still wants to use his platform to support the cause of minority rights. He wasn’t specific about how he’ll do that.