ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Veteran Bills offensive lineman Eric Wood put it simply.
“We have a polarizing president it appears.”
Linebacker Jerry Hughes would not even speak the president's name.
“That’s just what 45 is going to do and 45 is going to continue to focus on the NFL."
A trio of Bills players were made available to talk about what has become the NFL story of the year so far: The feud between players demonstrating during the national anthem and President Donald Trump.
Wood said it was a "line in the sand" when Trump fired off a tweet Friday calling players who knelt during the national anthem SOB's, and adding they should be fired.
The tweet set-off a wave of response, which included a Saturday night meeting for Bills players, coaches and owner Terry Pegula on the eve of their game against the Denver Broncos.
Head coach Sean McDermott would not disclose who spoke at the meeting or what was said, but he praised the openness of the dialog on a difficult subject.
“It’s important we handle things the right way. I came away from that meeting with that we do the right thing and that’s why we were having those conversations. Everyone wants to do the right thing.”
On Sunday around the league, a number of NFL players knelt to protest lingering racial discrimination in America.
Critics contend the demonstrations dishonor the anthem, and the men and women who served defending the country.
Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander took part in the protest for the first time Sunday.
“I won’t continue to kneel, but I just wanted to kneel to show those guys that I have their back and that we’re with them. I’m also with our military. I’m also with our country.”
This morning, the President was back at it on Twitter, demanding NFL players respect the anthem, the U.S. flag and the nation.
Does this signal the anthem kneel-downs will continue by NFL players?
“I would hope it doesn’t come to each side taking shots at each other. I don’t think it’s good for our game. I don’t think it’s good for our country. But realistically, more protest, more issues could come about from it,” said Woods.
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