A recent political cartoon from The Buffalo News’ Adam Zyglis described what many in Buffalo know to be true. In a polarized America, you may be running out of things you have in common with your relatives and friends with whom you disagree politically, except for sports.


The Bills and Sabres being so bad for so long has seemed to unite fan bases in a shared misery more than championship seasons ever could. We’re all experiencing the same grief. In the parking lot before the game, in the stands, or on the couch at home, this was a time where politics could be left aside and we’d be friends again.

That is, until Colin Kaepernick came around and started kneeling during the national anthem, that awesome song about losing the War of 1812. His kneeling forced us all to talk about why he was kneeling. I just want to shut my brain off on Sundays and ignore things that don’t affect me and you’re going to ask me to think about the inequality OTHER people face in my own country? Come on, Kap!


You “son of a bitch.” Why did you have to go and ruin this good thing we have going? Why couldn’t you just shut up, play football, and disappear after the game? Why did you have to show, that as an athlete, and a black man, you were capable of being multi-dimensional? You’re not supposed to think critically or voice your opinion. This is sports! Go out there and hit someone and entertain me!

This season, plenty of NFL teams look awful. Much of that is thanks to a bunch of crap quarterbacks. Teams have signed some real losers including EJ Manuel to Oakland and Geno Smith – say again, Geno Smith, people – to the Giants. Still, Kaepernick, with a resume better than half the QBs on that list, remains unhired. Good. That’s what he gets. That will show the other players who think about disrespecting MY song, MY flag, MY troops. Making me feel guilty about my privilege…

Yeah, the guy donated $900,000 to charity and plans to give more, but I always stand, beer in hand, sometimes I take my hat off, sometimes I can’t be bothered, and salute my flag. So who’s really the better American here?

Last week, I hopped on Twitter to see if President Trump had any updates to share about the devastation in Puerto Rico. I heard people were dying there and the island was unrecognizable. He didn’t post anything about that but – maybe too busy. I did find a video of him calling out these ungrateful athletes about kneeling during the national anthem, though. He went on with some more tweets to all of them, putting those men in their place and showing us what patriotism really looks like.

But in response, everyone lost their mind, banded together and now they’re kneeling in the hundreds! White guys, black guys, coaches. It used to be like six guys. Now hundreds? Sure the Broncos guys did it – but the Bills too? Shady too!? Even my own Bills forgot what it means to be an American. How am I supposed to root for them now?

My Sunday was ruined. Their nonviolent protest had such a profound effect on me personally that I had a few extra beers and joined my fellow Buffalonians in BOO’ing the players who took a knee. People died for my right to tell them what to do.

I heard Lorenzo Alexander banded them all together the night before as a team to tell them all to kneel. Look at this guy. Him and his ACES Foundation to empower young men and women to be leaders in their communities. He clearly hates America and should probably just leave.

I know the Pegulas donated to Trump’s campaign, so there’s no way they’d flip flop on their support for what Trump had to say.

Athletes should really just be grateful they got to where they are, you know? They left their communities behind. They’re millionaires now. What right do they have to weigh in on the country’s societal problems? They’re elites! They don’t even know who they’re insulting when they take that knee.

Look what Colin Kaepernick started. I just want to go back to a time when NFL players stayed out of sensitive issues and knew that our flag, Old Glory, stood for conformity and silence. That’s when I could really just enjoy the game. I’m glad President Trump has weighed in and forced these guys, and every fan, every citizen to choose – You’re either for our country, or for social justice.

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