The man who quit his job as an NFL stadium worker on Sept. 24 over the recent national anthem protests is now speaking out.
Erich Nikischer, who worked at Buffalo’s New Era Field for nearly 30 years, walked out of the stadium after he witnessed Buffalo Bills players taking a knee during the national anthem in protest.
Now in a new interview, Nikischer told “Fox & Friends” that he stood by his decision to quit.
The anthem is “something I hold dear to my heart,” he told “Fox & Friends.” “A lot of people have fought and died for this country, and the song and the flag signify that to me. I have a lot of friends that are veterans, I have family members that are disabled veterans and my father is a Korea War vet.”
“It was a personal stand, I had to quit,” he added.
— WGRZ (@WGRZ) September 25, 2017
Nikischer then described what his father told him after he made his decision to leave his job.
“He called me that night and he was broken up, he was proud of me but he was in tears with pride,” he told “Fox & Friends.” “I stood up for veterans and I did the right thing in my heart and his heart.”
The former security guard has vowed to never set foot in the stadium again, or even watch another NFL game until the protests stop.
He said that he has mostly received supportive comments.
“I’ve talked to some co-workers who gave me a lot of support. I’ve, of course, got a lot of support on Facebook from veterans, other law enforcement officers, Goldstar mothers, and of course I’ve gotten some hate mail on Facebook, but I take that for what it’s worth.”
Instead of kneeling, Nikischer recommends players to instead work on a real solution to the issue and go out into the community.
“I believe kneeling is to me is the players saying there’s a problem, someone else fix it. I believe if they went out into the community took some time and did something for a solution” he said. “Do something about it.”
You can watch the full interview below.
President Donald Trump said recently there was “tremendous backlash” over the NFL. He said that players disrespect the country by kneeling instead of standing.
“Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.
#StandForOurAnthem,” he tweeted on Sept. 25
Tremendous backlash against the NFL and its players for disrespect of our Country.#StandForOurAnthem??
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017