Brandon Marshall -- one of the first NFL players to kneel with Colin Kaepernick -- says he's not surprised the protests have turned violent ... but wants to remind everyone, "We tried to do things peacefully."
"I just think that people are fed up, which is why the violence has started," Marshall tells TMZ Sports.
"I would never want to see anyone get hurt, but I see why."
"If you could understand the timeline, if you could understand the course of events that continues to happen, it’s only natural that happens."
As far as the kneeling protest, Marshall says he still feels it was the right thing to do but notes "it didn't catch enough attention, it didn't change many laws."