ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills running back LeSean McCoy said he is inviting 15-20 Buffalo police officers to an upcoming game at a time when the 49ers visit Buffalo next and quarterback Colin Kaepernick is protesting police and the treatment of African-Americans and minorities.
McCoy said the gesture was not a direct response to Kaepernick’s kneeling protests during the national anthem, and that he has no problem with his protests. Kaepernick is set to start for the first time this year on Sunday against the Bills. McCoy said it has yet to be determined if the police officers will attend this weekend’s game or Buffalo’s following home game on Oct. 30 against New England.
“Just an appreciation type of thing,” McCoy said. “Cause they’re taking so much heat right now. There’s things that are happening that’s definitely wrong but I just feel like there’s bad people, there’s bad cops and there’s good cops.”
McCoy revealed the invitation when asked about the attention surrounding Kaepernick and his protests.
“Nobody’s perfect and a lot of cops are getting a bad rap for something that bad cops are doing and they’re still good cops,” McCoy said.
McCoy’s gesture comes after he was involved in a fight with off-duty police officers at a Philadelphia nightclub in February. No charges were issued.
“You guys know about the cops, the situation I had,” McCoy said. “For me to say that, that’s genuine.”
The plans to invite the police officers to a Bills home game had been in the works through McCoy’s foundation.
“I reached out to them,” McCoy said. “Like I said, it has nothing to do with Kap or the situation. I think that he might be doing the right thing because everybody’s opinion, there’s never a wrong opinion. I think he’s right for what he’s saying we need to do something about what’s going on because it is wrong. Then again, there’s good people and there’s bad people. There’s good cops and bad cops. So I’m just trying to show appreciation.”
McCoy is set to go up against his former coach in Philadelphia, Chip Kelly, for the second time since being traded from the Eagles to the Bills. McCoy caused a stir last year prior to Buffalo’s game against Philadelphia by saying Kelly couldn’t shake his hand but now says that’s water under the bridge.
“For sure, that’s way behind me,” McCoy said. “I never really had a real issue. Some things we didn’t see eye to eye. That’s tons of players and coaches.”
McCoy said he doesn’t have a problem with Kelly.
“I’m sure there’s people you work with that you don’t care to shake their hand and have a whole lot of conversations about your children and all that, different activities,” he said.
Kelly said his feelings about the situation haven’t changed.
“I enjoyed coaching LeSean in the two years that we had him in Philadelphia. He was extremely productive when he was there,” he said. “So I don’t have any expectations of what’s going to go on at the game.”
The Bills were without nine players at practice on Wednesday: DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring), LT Cordy Glenn (ankle), LB Zach Brown (foot), LB Lorenzo Alexander (rest), TE Charles Clay (knee), OT Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle), LB Brandon Spikes (illness), RB Mike Gillislee (illness) and CB Corey White (shoulder). The foot injury for Brown, who is tied for the league lead in tackles, is not serious according to Bills coach Rex Ryan. DT Corbin Bryant (ankle), P Colton Schmidt (right quadriceps), S Aaron Williams (foot), WR Marquise Goodwin (illness) and C Patrick Lewis (knee) were limited.