ORCHARD PARK, NY – Running back LeSean McCoy has been one of the most outspoken Bills players when it comes to President Donald Trump’s controversial comments, ridiculing NFL players who kneel for the national anthem.
On Saturday – one day after Trump’s divisive rant – McCoy called the president an a-hole in a tweet. One day later, as many NFL players chose to kneel during the national anthem in defiance of the president’s message, McCoy chose to stretch throughout the song’s entirety. He followed up a Bills win over the Broncos by calling Trump “a jerk” in his postgame press conference. On Wednesday he had more to say about the Commander-In-Chief.
“Yeah, he’s a character, man,” McCoy said in regards to Trump’s history of being a loose cannon. Whether or not McCoy will continue his protest beyond Week 3 is yet to be determined.
“I haven’t thought about that,” he admitted. “That was last week. The whole NFL kinda took the president’s words and really expressed themselves. I mean, some teams didn’t even come out for the national anthem. Guys were just extremely hurt, like myself. So this week, we really wanna get back to just playing football and focusing. I guess we’ll go over that with the [leadership] council and see as a team how we feel together and where we’ll go for the future.
“I don’t want to make it where every week we’re addressing this, every practice we’re addressing this, where it’s taking away from our job … We want to make sure we’re focused on the job at hand.”
While Bills players may be moving forward, McCoy’s decision to stretch during the anthem remains a controversial topic outside of team facilities. Most notably, Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly publicly ripped McCoy for his anthem stunt. McCoy explained his decision to stretch, on Wednesday.
“I was extremely hurt, to be honest,” the 29-year-old began. “Everybody has their own opinion. People believe in different things. They stand up for whatever they want to stand up for – that’s their right. So the words that the president used, it just rubbed me the wrong way. It really did. I was upset and I was frustrated and that’s the way I wanted to express myself at the game. I took a knee, I strated stretching. I was angry and I was hurt.”
The five-time Pro Bowler added that if he had to do it over again, he’d do it exactly the same way.
McCoy revealed that Kelly apparently reached out to him via text to clear the air about his “lost respect” for the running back. According to McCoy, the critical comments didn’t bother him and his relationship with the Bills legend remains unphased.
“He said some things to the media that he probably could’ve said to me, but [it’s] his opinion. It doesn’t really matter to me. I like Jim Kelly. He texted me and I just told him, ‘hey, you’re human. People, they have their own opinions. What you said, you don’t have to apologize for it. I don’t think you’re wrong. That’s how you felt, I understand.
“I told him, exactly, I said, ‘my respect for you hasn’t changed. It’s still very high.’ He’s a hell of a player and I respect him and I love him and even the relationship we had so far. It didn’t affect me at all. Opinions about good or bad or football-wise or outside of football, it wouldn’t matter to me as far as him as a person because that’s his opinion. He’s a human being.”
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