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Klee blog: Broncos coach Vance Joseph takes firm stance, says protests should be "separate" from NFL Sundays

By: Paul Klee
September 25, 2017 Updated: September 26, 2017 at 6:23 am
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Denver Broncos head coach Vance Joseph looks on during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

There's no gray area or guessing game with Vance Joseph, the first-year head coach of the Broncos. He says what he believes, believes what he says. 

That was true again Monday as the franchise's first black coach addressed questions about the national anthem protests that stole the NFL's Week 3.

When it comes to the protests that threaten to change how a sizable chunk of the country views its most popular sports league, Joseph said he believes players should stand for the anthem and find a time other than the national anthem to voice their opinion.

“I’ll tell you this: I think it should be a separate issue. It should not be a part of what we’re doing on Sundays. That’s my personal opinion," Joseph said during his weekly day-after session with local media at Dove Valley. "But I don’t think it’s a big deal once the football is kicked and snapped.”

The Bills beat the Broncos 26-16 in Buffalo, Denver's first loss of the season. Joseph said the protests' impact on the game was "zero to none." 

“Hopefully we can move past this and play football. Politics and sports don’t mix, in my opinion," he said. "I’m a football coach. They’re football players. Our job is to win football games. Hopefully we can get back to that this week.

“I don’t think it’s a distraction for the players. I really don’t, guys. I think it’s a separate issue.”

Joseph addressed the team in regards to the anthem protests on Saturday. 

“They were upsetting comments (from President Trump). My view hasn’t changed with this," Joseph said. "I believe in standing for that (anthem). That’s just my personal belief. I was raised that way. I believe in that. The flag and the anthem means a lot to me as far as the freedoms we endure every day as U.S. citizens. It’s important for me to stand. That being said, our players have the right to be a peaceful protest. That’s their right as U.S. citizens.”

Twitter: @bypaulklee

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