DEPEW, NY — One local legislator is taking a stand against NFL player protests.

Erie County Legislator Ted Morton (R-Cheektowaga) is distributing free "Stand for the National Anthem" bumper stickers at Majestic Pools in Depew from noon to 4 p.m.

“Millions of men and women fought and died so we can enjoy the privilege of living in the greatest nation in the world. We owe it to them to stand up and show our respect and gratitude," Morton said in a statement.

Many veterans and their families have viewed protests as disrespectful to the anthem, the military and the country's pride.

"I've never felt more disrespected as a group of people in my life," said Stephanie Tessmer, who has a long history of military service in her family. She carried a flag with a group of citizens outside of New Era Field early this week.

"I never in a million years would have expected that team would have come out and not stood. I never would have thought it."

Others have argued the exact opposite — that they've fought for the players' freedom of speech.

"They're making a stand that will help America, that will bring light to the injustices that have been happening in America, ever since we've been in America," Rev. Mark Blue, the president of the NAACP's Buffalo branch, told 2 On Your Side's Danny Spewak. Rev. Blue served in the Air Force Reserve for 20 years.

"They're using this platform to make sure they make a stand, to let people know they are taking a stance against racial bigotry, maligned across all ethnic classes and social groups."

If you're interested in a picking up a bumper sticker but cannot make it to the event, Morton asks that you call 716-391-2845 or email

Majestic Pools is located at 6315 Transit Road in Depew.