Throughout the NFL landscape, it's been an interesting last few days that have seen the worlds of politics and sports collide head on. It all started with the comments from President Donald Trump in regards to NFL players that kneel during the anthem, and continued with an unprecedented action around the league on Sunday during the national anthem of multiple players taking a knee.
That included the Buffalo Bills, who had a dozen or so players take a knee, some locked arms, while others stood for the anthem. After a voluntary team meeting on Saturday night, the Bills were trying to be united in supporting the individual choices of one man to the next.
Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly wasn't a part of those conversations, was on the Bills sidelines, and didn't hold back on his thoughts on players' decisions to kneel during the anthem on his Instagram page:
Even though I'm thankful the BILLS won today, I'm really upset and sad about what's happening. And I imagine many of you are too. I love the game of football and all that it means to the players, fans and cities across THIS country...but with all that's going on it's hard. The only time I will ever take a knee is to pray and to thank the Good Lord for what he's given me. We all have our issues. We all need to try and appreciate and understand each other and help each other and that goes for our PRESIDENT TOO. I don't have all the answers. But I do know that we need to UNITE not SEPARATE. I hope next week we can STAND , LOCK ARMS and become ONE FAMILY. ?????
And it didn't stop there, as Kelly then went on 97 Rock in Buffalo and took issue with running back LeSean McCoy's decision to sit and stretch while the anthem was being played.
"I like LeSean McCoy, don't get me wrong. But that totally, 100-percent, I disagree with what he did. If you want to kneel, fine. But when you go and did what he did yesterday, that sort of bummed me out and I lost a lot of respect for the man. And you know what? I'm a Buffalo Bill start to finish but when people start to do that, that's where I draw the line," Kelly told 97 Rock in Buffalo. "When you disrespect it the way he did and just go about his every day duty while the national anthem is being sung? Nuh-unh, I don't go for that."
After all of Kelly's comments, one player was fired up -- to the point where he specifically took aim at the quarterback for not coming and talking to the team first.
His comments, in full:
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) September 25, 2017
Hughes also added that he doesn't really know why Jim Kelly is on the sidelines during Bills home games.
When asked if the Bills would continue to allow Kelly to be on the sidelines after his public comments on Monday, head coach Sean McDermott said, "Listen, Jim Kelly is one of the hallmarks of this organization. He's an alum of this organization, this football team, and so I don't -- at this point -- see that changing."