Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans apologized this morning for sitting during Sunday's national anthem performance in protest to Donald Trump's election win. 

The statement below from Evans was first reported by ESPN.

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.

Evans sat on the bench prior to Sunday's home game against Chicago. The team also honored U.S. service members before the game, marking Veterans Day. 

The 23-year-old, a first-round draft pick in 2014, said after the game he would continue the protest "as long as [Trump] is the president-elect."


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