John Elway hopeful to “take politics out of football” moving forward

Getty Images

John Elway, the Hall of Fame quarterback and president of football operations for the Denver Broncos, released a statement through the team on Tuesday night addressing the protests during the national anthem from this past weekend’s games.

Elway expressed his belief in standing for the anthem and the flag while indicating he understood the desire of his players to make a statement following the comments of President Donald Trump last Friday in Huntsville, Ala.

“I’m one that believes in standing for the national anthem, and I’ve always believed that,” Elway said in the statement. “I believe that this is the greatest country in the world. We are very fortunate to live here, but it’s obviously not perfect. There are a lot of things that need to be corrected, and we will continue to work on those things. I’m one that really believes in standing for the flag. I understand the players and the way they felt from the comments that were made earlier in the week. They felt they had to go down and kneel and that’s up to them. Hopefully as we go forward we can start concentrating on football a little bit more. Take the politics out of football. But I think that last week was a good show of unity by the NFL and hopefully this week we can move forward.”

It’s interesting that Elway makes a claim of wanting to take the politics out of football. In March, Elway wrote a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee endorsing the candidacy of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. He did so on his personal letterhead, which includes Broncos logos. Apparently it was OK for Elway to support a political appointee with the weight of the Broncos behind him in March, but now that it’s a protest by the players he wants to “take the politics out of football.”

Elway can support anyone he wants. He was present in Washington D.C. for Trump’s inauguration in January. But it rings a bit hollow when he makes a political statement of his own in backing Gorsuch for the Supreme Court on team stationary and then claims he doesn’t want politics and football to intersect months later.

The protests – which, again, are focused on bringing attention to police brutality and social injustices – had been relegated to a fairly minor story line at the start of the season until the president elected to attack the league and call players who knelt in protest “sons of bitches” last week. What seems clear is that it’s now been magnified more than ever and doesn’t appear close to subsiding anytime soon.

63 responses to “John Elway hopeful to “take politics out of football” moving forward

  1. Elway did lots of commercials last year during election season to be talking like this. He was behind some pretty controversial bills to change the states current constitution.

  2. Little does he know there is unity among the citizens of the USA and when attendance and sales drop he will no longer be speaking of a “good show of unity by the NFL.”

  3. Gm’s and owners are running a business. Instead of game planning for the Bills, players were discussing how they were going to approach the National Anthem. When players disagree about what stance to take, it creates chemistry issues which is not conducive to winning football games. On Sunday, it showed for not only the Broncos, but the Ravens, Steelers, Seahawks, and Raiders.

  4. What the N.F.L. need to do is go back to leaving the team’s in the locker room during the anthem. The reason it is played is for those attending any event. Go to any other event besides a sporting event and the entertainment will never be on display while the anthem is played.

  5. I think we all want the politics out of football. But some of us out there who are rational enough to understand people could vote for Trump because of economic polices and not because they are all white supremacists also would be happy if Trump got off of Twitter and stuck to more pressing issues. He’s just giving fuel to his detractors.

  6. Totally agree, Elway. Neither side has handled this well, but hopefully it is a start to a discussion that can bring us closer together as the greatest country in the world.

  7. Will be good when sales tax goes down and stop subsidizing the billionaires who field players that disrespect their customers and try to hijack tax dollars for their own cause.

  8. A voice of reason. He may have wrote a letter on Broncos letterhead, but if it was on plain paper, you would make the same argument about politics and football. He supports our President by attending inauguration. But his views are hollow. He didn’t make the letter public and he went to the inauguration. He did both on his own time. That’s the difference, his own time. The players are on “company” time, with their customers watching. Their customers do not want politics in football. But, lets ignore that. I am all for peaceful protests. But these are ineffective. No one knows what these protests are about. They should protest on their own time. It would be more effective.

  9. Absolute Free Speech does not extend to the workplace unless the employer grants the right to his or her employees. Hence the NFL can nip this issue any time they wish.

    But when they allow protests at games, this invades my Right to Privacy and my Right to the Pursuit of Happiness. That has consequences.

    Until the NFL ends this, this Bronco fan will pay attention to the local team only, but will eliminate all other NFL games. Also, I’ll no longer wear my Von Miller jersey. Then the players can voice their concerns in appropriate venues.

  10. But its ok for the NFL to hold a double standard by allowing this political protest but not allowing players to show support for the victims of 911, the dallas police officers who were ambushed and murdered or for players mothers who have breast cancer? Be consistent.

  11. That’s a great idea! No more politics in sports. Lets start with the tax breaks nfl owners are getting :). The nfl should not be considered a non-profit.

  12. If only Trump hadn’t shot off his big mouth then none of this would have happened. Like they said in the article it was beginning to die off until His Majesty King Donald decided to make a federal case out of it. Way to go, Idiot-in-Chief.

  13. Elway thinks politics are bad, unless it’s his position that is being put forth. Does he realize his past words are recorded? I’m sure his players are aware. He’s losing credibility.

  14. denverdave3 says:
    September 27, 2017 at 5:53 am
    Absolute Free Speech does not extend to the workplace unless the employer grants the right to his or her employees. Hence the NFL can nip this issue any time they wish.

    But when they allow protests at games, this invades my Right to Privacy and my Right to the Pursuit of Happiness. That has consequences.

    ~~~~~~
    OK – how does some dude kneeling on a field invade “your Right to Privacy”?

    Unless “They” are specifically filming your reaction in your house (because while you are at a stadium, that is considered a public place during a public event, and therefore it is generally not considered “private” in a legal sense) – NOTHING the players are doing is invading your Privacy.

    Your “inalienable right to pursue happiness” is also not violated. Nothing they are doing is preventing your pursuit. They are not tying you down, shackling you – or even forcing you to watch. You can close your eyes and sing. You can watch the flag and sing. You can literally *ignore* what they are doing and honor the flag and veterans… You have full freedom of your actions, so your So your “pursuit of happiness” is unfettered and therefore not violated.

    We get it – you are vastly unhappy with protests during the anthem. But understand this –
    nothing they are doing is violating YOUR rights.

  15. To take politics out of football, don’t you have to remove the flag and cease doing the national anthem ? Those are the 2 biggest political symbols we have and if they remove it….ok.

  16. chickenrondelet says:
    September 27, 2017 at 3:09 am
    I think we all want the politics out of football. But some of us out there who are rational enough to understand people could vote for Trump because of economic polices and not because they are all white supremacists also would be happy if Trump got off of Twitter and stuck to more pressing issues. He’s just giving fuel to his detractors.

    —————
    I honestly think Trump was being ‘crazy like a fox’ getting everyone to spend their time churning over his words to the NFL instead of paying attention to other things he wants to slide by us all. And also it kept people from paying atrention to some of his failures. This guy knows that when the hounds come barking at his door the best thing to do is yell “squirrel!!!”.

  17. orangecrush78 says:
    September 27, 2017 at 7:35 am
    The Broncos are my team, and this guy was the reason for it in the 80’s – but the older I get (39, closer to 40) he is starting to wear on me. A LOT.

    There’s plenty of room on the Raiders band wagon right now. Why don’t you jump on it? You won’t be missed.

  18. The week ahead will begin the first test of viewership impact based on these “protests”. While standing together, locking arms, or any other sort of social fusion is ok….doing so during the playing of our National Anthem is disrespectful. I have no problem with anyone ( athletes included ) taking a stand for some cause. They should do that…on their own time. But when I have to pay ( tickets to a game, Direct TV NFL package, etc ), I believe that those protests taking place during the time that I have paid for are wholly inappropriate. So this Sunday, when the NFL comes on, if I am subjected to the network over covering some “protest” before the game, I will politely turn the channel, or go back to bed. If enough fans do likewise, then I do think that the NFL will take notice.

  19. What Elway does in his personal time is his business. Protesting during the Anthem is a whole different thing. It’s a misdirected hissy fit by a bunch of spoiled millionaires. How many of them have built youth centers in their hometowns?

    Ratings for the President’s Cup are going to be sky high. I watched golf last week – they talked about golf.

  20. Lol, typical. People are so selfish when it comes to politics. People are willing to turn a blind eye as long as it’s their guy, or they will save a few bucks on taxes. People can never put themselves in another person’s shoes to think how policy or actions can affect someone who is different than themselves.

  21. lunapler says:
    September 27, 2017 at 10:02 am
    What Elway does in his personal time is his business. Protesting during the Anthem is a whole different thing. It’s a misdirected hissy fit by a bunch of spoiled millionaires. How many of them have built youth centers in their hometowns?

    Ratings for the President’s Cup are going to be sky high. I watched golf last week – they talked about golf.

    And now you are on a football site, talking about football. sorta. actually no, you are on a football site talking about politics.

  22. The entire conversation on social media is about the player’s right’s to (peacefully) protest during the National Anthem. This rhetoric is fruitless as is the protest itself. For any protest to be meaningful and eventually successful there must be an objective, an obtainable goal. Gandhi’s peaceful protest had the objective of independence. The protests in the 60’s against the war in Vietnam had the objective to stop the war.

    When Kaepernick started sitting during the National Anthem he said he wanted to bring attention to racial inequality in the US. Now the protest seems to be simply about the right to kneel, sit, raise fists, whatever during the Anthem. What do the players want? What’s the objective?

    Okay, you have the right to peacefully protest, now what do you want?

    I watch football to be entertained for three hours and to escape the other BS I must deal with. If I want a discussion on social inequities I’ll watch CNN or Fox.

  23. Curtis, I think it’s a little silly and a reach for you to equate Elway writing letters of support for judicial nominations with Broncos letterhead during the offseason, and in his personal time, to making a public display/political protest as the players are on the field. Apples and oranges. For the record, I have no problem with any professional athlete using their fame OFF the field/ice to support a political position. That said, overwhelmingly fans and consumers of sports want that stuff left out of the actual games, etc.

  24. “I honestly think Trump was being ‘crazy like a fox’”

    No, I think he and his followers are just dumb like idiots.

  25. Football is supposed to be my escape from politics. If this continues I will stop gong to the games and watching it on TV. I just don’t need the aggravation of everybody bringing issues to a venue that is supposed to be fun and exciting competition.

  26. “But when they allow protests at games, this invades my Right to Privacy and my Right to the Pursuit of Happiness. That has consequences.”

    I think you should absolutely spend ALOT of money on an attorney to take your case to court. Let me know when the case goes before the court so I can be there to hear the laughter from the judges.

  27. Did Elway write his letter while he was at work? If not, then the analogy does not hold, in my opinion. Now, as ever, players are free to engage in political protests all they want. They just need to do it on their own time.

    In the end, sports is supposed to be an escape from things like politics. When that ceases to be true, I don’t see much value in it.

  28. zeke2517 says:
    September 27, 2017 at 10:19 am
    “I honestly think Trump was being ‘crazy like a fox’”

    No, I think he and his followers are just dumb like idiots.
    ——————-

    zeke…truer words have never been posted on this site.

  29. Ain’t it great to be an American!

    I’ve watched NFL football EVERY Sunday for the last 50 years. I didn’t ever consider missing my favorite Sunday past time. I thought about my favorite all week and who they were playing this week. I made sure to suit up with my teams jersey for every game. Go Cardinals!

    However as much as I loved my football addiction I love my liberty and freedom MUCH more than I love football. Standing with my hand over my heart and singing along for the National Anthem is important to me and my family. We’ve all served our country by joining our military to continue to protect and defend our Constitution and our liberty and freedom. So now that racial politics has been allowed, by the owners, to interfere with my favorite past time I MUST give it up!!!

    The owners had the legal right and authority to tell ALL of their players that football and politics DO NOT mix and protesting ANY issue using our NFL audience to make your point is not allowed based on the contract your players union agreed to. That would have been the end of this nightmare and I could have continued watching my Arizona Cardinals every Sunday.

    In view of the fact that the owners rolled over and allowed the players to break the rules in their employment contract regardless of how their fans felt has forced me to boycott the NFL 100%.

    I’m now searching for a new favorite pass time because even after the owners come around to reality and demand the players use other platforms like the MSM, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to discuss their objections of how they are treated in America, out of the NFL uniform, I’m no longer going to be an NFL fan. I’m done! The owners have insulted my loyalty to our veterans and active duty military personnel, all of them.
    I can not and will not forget that the owners had the authority to kill this situation totally the day that Colin Kaepernick kneeled on national TV and didn’t have the balls to do the right thing.

  30. Bizzareslantpass says:
    September 27, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Instead of game planning for the Bills, players were discussing how they were going to approach the National Anthem. When players disagree about what stance to take, it creates chemistry issues which is not conducive to winning football games. On Sunday, it showed for not only the Broncos, but the Ravens, Steelers, Seahawks, and Raiders.

    =============

    No kidding. Half the teams lost on Sunday, can you believe it?!

  31. Oh please. While the President’s comments last week may have finally engaged NFL owners, the protests go back more than a year.

  32. He did so on his personal letterhead, which includes Broncos logos. Apparently it was OK for Elway to support a political appointee with the weight of the Broncos behind him in March, but now that it’s a protest by the players he wants to “take the politics out of football.”
    —————————————————————————
    As you mentioned he did it on his PERSONAL letter head. He is likely the most famous Bronco in the history of the franchise. Makes some sense he would have the logo on some of his stuff. Had he stood in the Broncos building or with a Broncos back drop or on the field with a camera on him and delivered such a message I’d think you have a point. Otherwise, what you have written about this is spinning so fast I can barely read it.

  33. why not MORE politics in football? It could be like wrasslin with bombastic owners and coaches demonizing the opponents’ values before a game to increase fan interest and tv ratings. The team names and logos could espouse those values and increase merchandise sales. The NFL and it’s little minion Goodell would do it in a heart beat if they smelled a nickle.

  34. Wanna take the politics out of football?
    Then stop playing that war song with flyovers by war jets before the games.

  35. Some see sports as an escape from the daily political world, but the reality is that Big Time sports are big time because they command attention from millions of people, and the players who play are rich and famous. They matter as public figures, and politics have been a part of sports since the ancient Greeks.

    Get used to it….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!