WILLIAMSVILLE, NY — When the Sabres take the ice Thursday night, protestors say they'll have a message for Terry and Kim Pegula.

A long-time Sabres sponsor says that it will protest a decision the Bills made.

"This protest is against the Pegulas," said Karen Karamanoukian, the executive vice president of of a vein treatment center called Veins Veins Veins - it has locations in Orchard Park and Williamsville.

Karamanoukian says she's outraged that all Bills players didn't stand for the National Anthem two Sundays ago before the Bills-Broncos game.

REPORTER: What have the Pegulas done that is wrong in your eyes?

"There are restrictions on free speech, we get that everybody is entitled to free speech, but when you're working there are restrictions they could've said no do what Dallas did, kneel before the anthem then stand for the anthem," she said.

Because Bills players knelt, Karamanoukian says vets she's heard from feel insulted.

"For us, they're very important, they fought for all of our freedoms and allowed us to do things that are not allowed to do in other countries," she said.

Now, Karamanoukian says she plans to protest during the Sabres home opener, voicing her opinion about the Pegulas and inviting vets to the suite her treatment center has at KeyBank Center.

"My veterans will be in the game protesting every game, they have some T-Shirts made up and they'll be protesting," she said, "the same as the Bills players need to be heard so do my guys."

And not only that, she says she's working on getting Veins Veins Veins commercials that air during Sabres games removed and replaced with other ads with veterans sharing their messages about the National Anthem debate. The center says it wanted to remove all ads, but is contractually obligated to keep the commercials on the air.

"Then, it's up to the Sabres actually to upload it, sometimes it takes 24 hours but we'll see if they drag their feet on this," she said.

Karamanoukian says the vein treatment center's commercial and suite contract two years from now will expire.
She says she does not plan to renew with the team. Meantime, a spokesperson for Pegula Sports and Entertainment says it does not comment on ongoing legal disputes.