TAMPA (FOX 13) - Two days after taking a seat during the national anthem, Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans is apologizing.
Evans chose to remain sitting on the bench during the 'Star Spangled Banner' before Sunday's game -- which happened to be the team's Veterans Appreciation Day -- in protest of Donald Trump's election.
"I said this a long time ago. When he ran, I thought it was a joke. And the joke continues," Evans told FOX 13 on Sunday, pledging to continue protesting. "I'm not a political person, but I have common sense. I know when something is not right."
The move immediately drew widespread criticism from fans on social media, with some pledging to boycott the Bucs. Many pointed out the perceived hypocrisy of his protest after it became clear he apparently did not vote in the presidential election.
The team, meanwhile, issued a statement pledging support for the military and Coach Dirk Koetter said he was "disappointed" by Evans' decision.
Tuesday morning, Evans issued a statement through his agent, explaining and apologizing.
"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."
The Bucs head to Kansas City this Sunday to take on the Chiefs.