Jim Kelly ‘lost a lot of respect for’ LeSean McCoy over national anthem protest
LeSean McCoy was one of several players who made some sort of political statement during the playing of the national anthem on Sunday, and Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly does not agree with the way the star running back carried himself.
Kelly was on the Bills’ sideline before the team’s win over the Denver Broncos, and he stood with his hand over his heart as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. Roughly 12 Bills players walked toward midfield and took a knee during the anthem, and Kelly later expressed disappointment in them in an Instagram post.
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.
Rather than take a knee, McCoy decided to go through his stretching routine while the national anthem played. A video showed him stretching next to some teammates and team staffers who placed their hands over their hearts. In an interview on 97 Rock in Buffalo Monday morning, Kelly was highly critical of McCoy.
“I like LeSean McCoy, don’t get me wrong, but I totally, 100 percent I disagree with what he did,” the Hall of Fame QB said, as transcribed by Mike Rodak of ESPN.com. “You want to kneel? Fine. But when you go and do what he did yesterday, that sort of bummed me out. And I lost a lot of respect for him. … You want to kneel? That’s your prerogative. I would never do that. I will always stand, thank the good Lord for everything I got. But when you disrespect the way he did and just go by his everyday duty in the national anthem being sung? Uh-uh. I won’t go for that.”
McCoy called out Donald Trump during a postgame interview on Sunday and urged him to stop trying to divide the country.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 24, 2017
National anthem protests were more widespread than ever across the NFL on Sunday, which was a direct response to Trump saying Friday that team owners should fire “any son of a b—” who kneels during the anthem. You can see a roundup of many of the protests here.
Kelly isn’t the only one who disagrees with the approach McCoy and others took, as fans in New England booed and yelled at players who took a knee.