Sponsors drop Denver Broncos player after protest

As more NFL gridders opt to take a knee or raise a fist during the national anthem before games, companies and teams seek to strike a delicate balance in responding.

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As more and more National Football League players are joining the protest started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, sponsors, teams and the league have responded in cautious tones.

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall is the first player to lose endorsement deals.

On Monday, CenturyLink issued the following statement:

We completely respect Brandon Marshall’s personal decision and right to take an action to support something in which he strongly believes. America is anchored in the right of individuals to express their beliefs. While we acknowledge Brandon’s right, we also believe that whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation. In our view, the national anthem is one of those moments. For this reason, while we wish Brandon the best this season, we are politely terminating our agreement with him.

The statement comes just days after the Air Academy Federal Credit Union announced it was terminating its contract with Marshall:

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