In 2016, then-Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall followed Colin Kaepernick's lead and kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice.
Marshall believes the public is finally seeing four years later why he, Kaepernick, and others took a knee.
"Back then, we were called rogues, people said that we didn't deserve jobs, but this is what we were talking about then," Marshall told ESPN's Jeff Legwold.
Protests against racism and police brutality began across North America in response to George Floyd's death Monday in Minneapolis. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died after now-former police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground with his knee for over eight minutes while Floyd was in handcuffs. Chauvin was fired and has since been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Kaepernick and others who kneeled were vilified by many, including President Donald Trump.
"I think people are looking at (Kaepernick) now like, 'OK, maybe he knew,'" Marshall said. "People didn't want to hear the message after, 'Oh, they were kneeling.' They didn't want that message, weren't ready for it, didn't listen. I hope, and I look at it, I hope people are ready for the message. I really hope they're ready for change."
An independent autopsy commissioned by Floyd's family determined he died by mechanical asphyxia caused by the knee on his neck, according to David K. Li of NBC News.