Every NFL football game that took place on Sunday was touched by the national anthem protests that were kicked off last season by former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.
Sunday afternoon’s matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Denver Broncos was no different.
Some Buffalo players took a knee:
— Lindsay Truesdell (@ltruesdell1) September 24, 2017
The team issued a statement saying that the players would be allowed to exercise their free speech on the field:
Statement from the Bills. pic.twitter.com/pUW2bTmHwc
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 24, 2017
Former Buffalo coach Rex Ryan even appeared on ESPN Sunday morning to say that despite introducing Donald Trump at a 2016 rally, he was disappointed by the president’s recent comments:
— POLITICO (@politico) September 24, 2017
On the other side of the field, a number of Broncos also knelt. Several of those who stood either locked arms together or raised a fist in the air:
— Karen Johansson (@KJohansson) September 24, 2017
One who stood out — in part, simply because he stood — was defensive end Derek Wolfe (No. 95). Wolfe explained to ESPN’s Josina Anderson that he had no intention of taking a knee:
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 24, 2017
His statement reads:
I stand because I respect the men who died in real battle so I have the freedom to battle on the field. Paying tribute to the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom is why I stand. But everyone these days likes to find a reason to protest and that’s their right.
It’s America and you are free to speak your mind. I just feel it’s disrespectful to the ones who sacrificed their lives and it’s maybe the wrong platform.
But like I said, to each their own. It’s AMERICA! The greatest country in the world and if you don’t think we are the greatest country in the world and you reside here, then why do you stay? A lot worse places in the world to call home. Proud to be an American.