Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall lost his endorsement deal with Air Academy Federal Credit Union because of his decision to kneel during the national anthem prior to Thursday's season-opening game against the Carolina Panthers.
The president and CEO of Air Academy Federal Credit Union, Glenn Strebe, released a statement Friday on Facebook, citing the company's military connection as the reason for severing its relationship with Marshall.
Although we have enjoyed Brandon Marshall as our spokesperson over the past five months, Air Academy Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) has ended our partnership. AAFCU is a membership-based organization who has proudly served the military community for over 60 years. While we respect Brandon’s right of expression, his actions are not a representation of our organization and membership. We wish Brandon well on his future endeavors.
After the game Thursday, Marshall said he was prepared to lose sponsorship deals because he knew he was doing the right thing.
"I'm going to get a lot of scrutiny and I understand that. In the eyes of a lot of people, I'll be respected. In the eyes of most people, I'll be hated," said Marshall, according to Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. "I was thinking I could lose endorsements. I could lose likability. I could lose my credibility in my community when I want to do things. I could lose that. But I'm a man of faith and I really prayed about it for a lot of days. I feel good about it. As a man, you can go home and put your head on your pillow and feel good with what you believe and what you stand in, then that’s OK with me."
Marshall said his decision was partly influenced by a run-in with police this summer.
"I'm not against the military. I'm not against the police or America. I'm just against social injustice," Marshall said. "I'm proud of it. I don't regret it. I know this is right."