Gary Kubiak addresses Brandon Marshall’s national anthem protest

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08: Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Denver Broncos walks off the field after the fourth quarter of the Broncos' 21-20 win. The Denver Broncos hosted the Carolina Panthers on Thursday, September 8, 2016. (Photo by Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Joe Amon/Denver Post via Getty Images

At the beginning of Thursday night's NFL season opener between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall took a knee during the national anthem, becoming the latest NFL player to offer a symbolic protest against police violence during the song.

Naturally, viewers around the country rushed to condemn or defend the anthem protest, and at a press conference on Friday, Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak addressed the situation head-on.

Kubiak's take: He believes in Marshall's right to his beliefs and is dedicated to focusing on football.

Kubiak's words on Marshall's anthem protest stand out from those of other prominent sports figures who've addressed the subject of anthem protests in the last week.

In hockey, Columbus Blue Jackets and U.S. Hockey Team head coach John Tortorella called anthem protests “the most disrespectful thing you can do as a U.S. citizen.” Less vehemently, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told media “[players] have to find respectful ways” to express their discontent with social issues.

Dan is on Twitter. Like any real American, he loves and respects freedoms until they mildly infringe on his entertainment.