ORCHARD PARK, NY - Buffalo Bills' players and coaches are still letting the NFL's new national anthem policy sink in. After all, the policy was just put into place on Wednesday.
The new policy says all players and team personnel on the field must stand during the anthem, but they can now choose to stay in the locker room during anthem if they want. If players do not follow this rule, the league has the right to fine players and team personnel and the team can do so as they see fit.
As the Bills wrapped up their first week of OTAs on Thursday, players and coaches didn't have too much to say on the new policy. Some didn't want to comment, others were still learning what it all is.
Here's what head coach Sean McDermott had to say:
"The news is somewhat fresh. Just finishing up practice yesterday and coming off the field and I have had conversations, brief conversations, with Kim [Pegula]. At this point, those conversations are very early or in their early stages. Wanting to fully understand all of it thoroughly, that’s really where we are right now. We’ll have those good conversations as we always do; Terry and Kim [Pegula] are very supportive and up to date on this situation in particular. We’ll move forward once we’ve had those internal conversations in more context," McDermott said.
Remember last year a few Bills players did kneel for a couple games while some linked arms or raised a fist in the air.
Bills' linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is focused on bringing awareness to issues and change around the community.
"Really right now we're focused on football. I know guys were focused on trying to do active things in the community and not worry about just trying to protest on Sundays but just continue that work of making some true change and impact. Whether that's talking to local officials or working with kids and all of the above just really trying to impact this Buffalo community as much as we can," Alexander said.
Bills co-owner and President, Kim Pegula issued this statement on Wednesday: