On Sunday, several Buffalo Bills players kneeled in protest during the national anthem. That included star running back LeSean McCoy, who decided to continue with his pregame stretching routine while others stood just a few feet from him.
“I can’t stand and support something where our leader of this country is just acting like a jerk,” LeSean McCoy said in a post-game press conference.
After 30 years of working at New Era Field for the Buffalo Bills, stadium worker Erich Nikischer had seen enough. He decided to quit his job immediately as a result of the protesting players.
WGRZ interviewed Erich, who explained when he decided to quit, how he did it, and what the future holds for him in watching football.
“I waited until the National Anthem ended, I took off my shirt, threw my Bills hat on the ground, walked out,” Nikischer said in a sit-down interview with Channel 2 at his West Seneca home.
Nikischer says he has no problem with players protesting before the National Anthem. It’s when the kneeling continued into the song that strong feelings took over.
“During the National Anthem…the song that is about our country, our veterans that fight and die for us, it’s just something I feel you shouldn’t disrespect that way,” he said. “I believe people have the right to protest; I just don’t believe that’s the proper venue for it.”
He’s not alone in that latter sentiment. Safety Jordan Poyer’s fiancé says that’s how the couple feels, and that Saturday night, they decided he wouldn’t partake in an on the field protest.
“I feel like there’s a certain time or place where you should make a stand for something, and we both agree that it’s not in your work force, your work field,” Rachel Bush said. “So yeah, I agree there’s something that should be done, but we both mutually don’t agree that it should be done during their work…during their football season.”
Nikischer said it was a hard decision, and that he will miss those he worked with.
“I will never step foot in the that place again, I will never watch an NFL football game again until this ends,” Nikischer said.