Locals react to Kaepernick named Sunday QB

BUFFALO, N.Y. - BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Colin Kaepernick will be starting at quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers when they take on the Bills Sunday.

What otherwise might be an ordinary game has become anything but. Kaepernick's been garnering lots of headlines wherever he goes with his pre-game national anthem protests. 

That's no different in Buffalo. 

WGRZ received dozens of comments on Facebook Thursday about how Bills fans will respond. 

Some said it is a distraction from the game. Others said he will be boo-ed. One fan called for the national anthem to be played throughout the whole game so he will "never get off his knee." 

The Veterans Outreach Center of Rochester and Buffalo launched a protest to Kaepernick's protest. They are giving out free hand-held flags to anyone who wants them. 

The center's director, Todd Baxter, said that he thinks Kaepernick went a little too far with his protests and this is a chance for people who appreciate the red, white and blue to respond. 

"It's an opportunity for us to say let's believe in the freedoms we have," Baxter said. "Let's believe in the freedom providers... and that includes law enforcement and service members." 

It might be hard for some to take the center up on their offer. They are only offering the flags through the center's flag store in Rochester. That address is 447 South Ave, Rochester, NY 14620. 

You could also bring your own flag. The Bills media relations team told WGRZ Thursday that flags will be allowed. 

"I'm not trying to make a statement against Colin [Kaepernick]," Baxter added. "I'm just trying to make an opportunity for people to make their counterpoint heard and that's the American way and do it with a respectful and dignified way and I can't think of any better way than plaster that red, white and blue."

And from those fans in the stands to the players on the field, WGRZ caught up with some of the Bills players who will be playing Kaepernick this Sunday. 

Bills defensive tackle Corbin Bryant said Kaepernick is addressing his constitutional right. 

"He's going out there and being an American and as Americans, we can express our own opinions," Bryant explained. "So that's all he's doing. He's trying to strike up a conversation of injustice against minorities in this country and me, along with other people, back his stance on that." 

Bryant added that he won't be kneeling with Kaepernick on Sunday. He said there is enough of that already going on in the league and he is there to work. 

 


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