Kim Pegula will stand for the anthem, but she supports players who choose to kneel

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Most owners have not come out and said that they support players who choose to kneel during the national anthem. Bills co-owner Kim Pegula has.

“Personally, I’m not going to kneel,” Pegula said Friday on One Bills Live, via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. “But we’ve been listening. We’ve been learning to love other people and understand experiences and what they have gone through, what they’ve experienced, and what maybe the anthem or the flag means to them, it’s truly different than what I went through.

“Honestly, that’s how I feel. I will be standing, but that’s my choice. That’s my right. I would hope that the players as well respect that, just like I’m going to respect them for what they want to do if they so choose to.

She said that the current position from Bills ownership is no different than it was at the height of the anthem controversy, in 2017.

“Obviously, this was a tough topic three years ago, still, and we haven’t really moved beyond the space,” Kim Pegula said. “I think last time, last time three years ago, we said, ‘We do. We support our players. We support their right for them to peacefully protest.’ Now it’s come upon us again.”

She also explained that she has a reason for standing, and that her decision to stand isn’t to show that she opposes kneeling.

“I think and I would hope that our players or anybody would understand that if I’m standing, that does not mean I am … for racism,” Kim Pegula said. “Certainly, it’s not. And the same goes for our players. If they choose to kneel, or whoever wants to protest, I don’t think it’s because they don’t love the country or they don’t respect our military or any of that.”

Kim Pegula realizes that, this time, things seem different — and that more people are learning about and understanding the historical experiences of blacks in America.

“In some ways we’ve come a long ways, in other ways it’s been very slow,” she said. “I think if you talk to the black community, they would say, ‘Listen, it’s been hundreds of years and we’re still in this place.’ This time around, people are listening more. Whether it’s deliberate or whether it’s just a part of where we are in our world, we’re listening more and our hearts and our ears are a little bit more open than maybe they were three years ago.”

She’s right, and it’s right for team owners to make sure players understand that they have their support in whatever they decide to do. The message from ownership can’t be that kneeling will be tolerated or permitted or grudgingly accepted. Owners need to say to their teams that a conscious decision regarding conduct during the anthem is encouraged, and that there will be no repercussions based on whatever decision each player makes.

16 responses to “Kim Pegula will stand for the anthem, but she supports players who choose to kneel

  1. I agree I’ll always stand for our national anthem this is America where all our free to make their own decisions! God bless this great land and all who reside in it.

  2. She also explained that she has a reason for standing, and that her decision to stand isn’t to show that she opposes kneeling.

    Ah yes, it’s only a matter of time that those who stand for the flag are condemned as racists. That’s because the media cries about tolerance but it’s a one-way street. If you don’t believe what they tell you believe you’re condemned as intolerant. I will always stand for the flag because I’m a veteran who is honored to say I served in war. I do it in the memory of those who gave their lives for this great country.

  3. She’s saying let’s just move on. I’m tired of all this. I hear ya. I’ve learned. We’ve come a long way. Yada yada yada. If you don’t like it, tough sh#t. But respect me for my choices. That’s my right. And the players should respect her rights. That’s what freedom is all about. They might want to be traded. Would she respect their wishes? I don’t think she even realizes she’s throwing gasoline on a fire. This is one of those don’t press send moments. Maybe alcohol involved?

  4. Unpopular opinion: I Don’t care what ANYONE does, stand, sit, kneel. It’s still a free country. I am pro-first amendment and always will be.

  5. cghjjf says:
    June 20, 2020 at 7:03 pm
    People who care if someone else sits stands or kneels have no life.

    You’re describing the average sports fan.

  6. I hope this doesn’t get to the point where if you kneel you hate America and if you stand you’re a racist. This country is incredibly polarized.

  7. As a owner of a predominantly black employed business demonstrating your support is what this about. It’s her right and like other owners to stand or kneel BUT after the song is over , what are you REALLY doing to help those players people like them in this country to demand CHANGE.

  8. This is America. You no longer have the freedom to make that choice Kim. You will kneel like the others, or you will stand and prove you are nothing but a BLM hating racist. Those are the rules in 2020

  9. I exercise my first amendment protections along with my second amendment protections. These are not rights. We already have these rights.

  10. I support anyone’s right to sit, kneel or stand for the anthem.

    I’m a 6 year vet having served during the Viet Nam era to help guarantee those rights.

    The key is, they have my support to do that while ON THEIR OWN TIME.

    What I object to is people not standing for the anthem while on the job, representing their team, in uniform, in a public place.

    There is a difference.

  11. In 2017, the Dallas Cowboys all knelt as a team and organization BEFORE the National Anthem. They then, all rose together as the National Anthem started playing. Win – Win, right?? NOPE! All this “protesting” of social injustice is really about the National Anthem. No one is discussing this classy move. They get their “voices” heard BEFORE the National Anthem in front of MILLIONS and as a sign of respect for our country they ALL STAND TOGETHER! So you still want us to believe it’s NOT about the National Anthem??!!!!

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