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30-Year Stadium Worker Does The Unthinkable After Seeing Team Protest Anthem

A man who worked for an NFL stadium for 30 years was inspired by anthem protests to do something rash. The employee was so upset about football players protesting racial injustice that he decided to resign, the Daily Mail reported.

For Erich Nikischer, the last straw came on Sunday, when a number of players kneeled during the “Star Spangled Banner” before a game at New Era Field in Buffalo. “I waited until the national anthem ended, I took off my shirt, threw my Bills hat on the ground, walked out,” the former stadium crew member told NBC affiliate WGRZ-TV. “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. I believe people have the right to protest; I just don’t believe that’s the proper venue for it.”

Nikischer, who vowed to “never watch an NFL football game again until this ends,” posted on Facebook a photo of himself leaving the stadium for the final time. The picture has sparked more than 8,400 reactions and has been shared 4,200 times. Nikischer wrote on his Facebook page that he can no longer “work in a place where multi-millionaires cry that they are oppressed.”

Some players have been “taking a knee” or standing while locking arms during the anthem since the 2016 pre-season, when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand. He said he wanted to express his outrage about white police officers shooting unarmed African-Americans. On Sunday, more than 200 players took part in the protests. Only six of them had done so the previous week, but President Trump provided additional motivation when he declared that team owners should fire any “son of a b****” who “disrespects the flag.”

“I can’t stand and support something where our leader of this country is just acting like a jerk,” running back LeSean McCoy told reporters after the Bills’ game. Cleveland Browns quarterback DeShone Kizer added: “Once again, this is a tragedy in this country that we have to sit here and still have these discussions. I know for a fact that I’m no son of a b****, and I plan on continuing forward and doing whatever I can from my position to promote the equality that’s needed in this country.”

The Huffington Post reported that the owners of the Bills, Terry and Kim Pegula, issued a statement slamming the president. They wrote that his remarks were “divisive and disrespectful to the entire NFL.” More than 30 Denver Broncos also took a knee before the game in Buffalo.

Some fans are circulating a petition calling for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to institute a policy banning the protests. The petition demands a rule that players “must stand during our national anthem” or “stay in the locker room” during the anthem.

Trump’s appeal to team owners to fire players who kneel is falling on deaf ears, as many owners have expressed support for the athletes. Some owners, including the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, took a knee with their players on Sunday.

Source: Daily Mail, HuffPost
Photo: WGRZ Screenshot

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