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Buffalo Bills owners speak out on Trump criticism

Sep 24, 2017

Credit Buffalo Bills Twitter

(WXXI News & AP) At a rally Friday night, President Donald Trump criticized some NFL players for taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem in protest, saying those players should be fired.

Many coaches and teams are speaking out including the Buffalo Bills.

Owners of the Bills Terry and Kim Pegula released a statement saying Trump's comments were "disrespectful and divisive" to the entire NFL community, and that they support their players freedom to express themselves and "promote an environment that is focused on love and equality."

The president also expressed his opinion this weekend on Twitter, tweeting early Sunday morning that NFL fans should boycott games until players stop "disrespecting our Flag & Country."

Trump went on to tweet that NFL ratings are down because of "boring games" but suggested that some don't attend games because they "love our country" and that the league should back the U.S.

The Bills played in Orchard Park Sunday, defeating the Denver Broncos, 26 to 16. 

Just before the game started, Bills RB LeSean McCoy knelt, then sat and stretched during the anthem a day after he caused a stir by tweeting, "It's really sad man" and then used an obscenity to describe Trump. Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly joined the team on the field during the anthem and held up his left hand while holding a Bills cap.

More than half of the Broncos players — including linebacker Von Miller, safety Aqib Talib and receiver Demaryius Thomas — knelt on their side of the field.Fans began to boo as the Bills players walked in unison onto the field. They stopped booing once the anthem began.