Sean McDermott: “It’s critical that our players know we care about them and support them”


Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott talks to Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) during an NFL football training camp in Orchard Park, N.Y., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. (James P. McCoy/Buffalo News via AP, Pool)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Four years to the day that Colin Kaepernick took a knee for the first time, NBA players made a statement of their own when the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game Five of the NBA Playoffs on Wednesday.

The Bucks refusing to play caused a ripple effect throughout the sports world, leading the Rockets and Thunder, and Lakers and Trail Blazers games to be postponed that evening, along with the WNBA playoff games that evening, three MLB games and five MLS games.

On Thursday morning, news started to trickle out that the New York Jets would not be practicing to stand in solidarity, as did the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, and the Washington Football Team.

The Bills still took the field on Thursday for their first scrimmage, and head coach Sean McDermott said that the decision to continue to practice came with a lot of consideration from both the players and administrative sides.

“I can tell you that I thought about it, we thought about it from the administrative side, you’d have to ask the players about that. I can tell you we’ve had and will continue to have ongoing conversations about things that are going on in our world and the result of those things,” Sean McDermott said to media on Zoom on Thursday morning.

“I think it’s admirable that the players and staffs and organizations have taken the approach that they have, action needs to be taken and each and everyone has an opinion as to what is the right thing to do, so the important thing for me is that we try to do the right thing within our organization. I can’t effect or impact what other decisions are made outside of our organization, but inside of our organization we’re going to try and do the right thing, and I think that’s important.”

Sean McDermott, various members of the Bills coaching staff, and even players like Josh Allen have not been shy to discuss the need for change in the light of the protests this summer.

“It’s always important to know what’s going on in our world from a current events standpoint. At the end of the day, we’re all human, even though we’re all in the bubble of the NFL or professional sports, we’re all still a part of this world and this country,” McDermott said.

“The other part of it that’s critical to me is that our players know that we care about them and support them, and we’re sensitive to the things that they’ve been around and seen in some ways as well. It’s important that they know that they’re being heard, they have a voice, and that we support them.”

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