Saying he wanted to send "a clear message," legendary Bills running back Thurman Thomas took to Facebook to post a lengthy message regarding NFL player protests during the playing of the national anthem at games. He reiterated what he told The News on Wednesday that he doesn't believe the players should be viewed as disrespecting the military.
Here is the full text of the statement:
"After this statement, I will not discuss this topic anymore publicly nor on this feed. I respect my fans, my friends and my family and that is why I feel it necessary to send a clear message, one that reflects my true feelings. I hope that you all can respect my words.
"Anyone that knows me knows that I love my country, I have great admiration for our men and women in the military. I have traveled to Iraq as part of a USO tour to show my love and support for these brave men and women. I have been an honored and humbled guest on an F16 flight that landed on a Aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Mexico and was completely awed by the service men and women who operate these incredible machines. I was lucky enough to have visited Veterans hospitals and meet more true American hero’s. I have beloved friends and family members that have served or are serving in the military.
"Being an American citizen has allowed me to fulfill many of my dreams, and as Americans, our strength is in our ability to improve as a society, to right wrongs and fight against injustice. I have never, or will never forget why we have these freedoms.... because brave men and women fought and died in places all over the world and right here on American soil. Please don’t let the message of inequality be obscured by the process of which it is being delivered. I understand some people are upset with NFL players kneeling during the anthem. All I ask for is that we have a dialogue about moving forward as Americans, all Americans, not black, not white, not Hispanic, not black lives matter, not all lives matter, not I stand, not I take a knee, not gay, not straight etc. but everyone. Every individual can make a difference. Be open minded in your every day life, call out injustice when you see it, most importantly love your neighbor, I will try and do the same. God bless everyone."