Jim Kelly Releases New Statement on Protests

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Jim Kelly sought to clarify his stance on the latest wave of NFL protests by issuing a written statement on Monday evening to 2 On Your Side's Scott Levin, in which he supported the right to peacefully protest on the field.

"I am so thankful that we live in a country where we are able to express ourselves freely. In that regard, I want to be clear that I agree with the reason some NFL players have chosen to peacefully protest and appreciate players, coaches and organizations being unified," Kelly said in part of his statement. 

Earlier on Monday, the Hall of Fame quarterback had said he "lost a lot of respect" for Bills running back LeSean McCoy, who performed stretches and warmups during the national anthem on Sunday. Kelly himself appeared on the field before the game against the Denver Broncos and held his hat in the air, at the same moment many other players took a knee or locked arms. 

Kelly's actions drew harsh criticism from defensive end Jerry Hughes, who said he was "very disappointed" that Kelly had not worked collaboratively with current players.

After a productive conversation with both McCoy and Hughes, though, Kelly released this statement in full on Monday evening:

"I want to offer some clarification in regards to my recent comments. First and foremost, like so many, I love the United States and the great game of football. Yesterday we saw how passionate players are in regards to the peaceful protests that occurred in many NFL stadiums, including New Era Field where I was in attendance. I am so thankful that we live in a country where we are able to express ourselves freely. In that regard, I want to be clear that I agree with the reason some NFL players have chosen to peacefully protest and appreciate players, coaches and organizations being unified.

I would hope that while we all, myself included, may not agree with using the National Anthem as the appropriate forum for such display, we should continue to strive to work through these issues with great respect for each other. God Bless."

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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