Protest over kneeling NFL Players, Bleeds into Pegula's co-owned Sabres

Vein Center Will Host Veterans' Protest in Key Bank Suite

AP Photo

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The fallout from the NFL player protests has one Buffalo Sabres sponsor ready to take it out on the hockey franchise that is co-owned with the Buffalo Bills.

The Vein Treatment Center, a long-time Sabres sponsor, says they are so upset with the Pegulas over the Bills players taking a knee, they plan to protest against the Pegulas by pulling their sponsorship at the end of their contract.

"Two years from now, when our contract expires, we're not renewing," said Executive Vice President of the Vein Treatment Center Karen Karamanoukian.

"Every single game we have veterans (in our suite), and every single time that national anthem plays they're honoring their brothers and their sisters," Karamanoukian said. "To have somebody kneel, they know they fought for the right for these people to protest, but we at least expect people to stand for the flag. Protest before, protest after."

Despite the objections, the business said it still plans to use their suite during Sabres home games and said that you will continue to see their ads during Sabres games both at the arena and on TV.

"We don't have a choice," Karamanoukian said. "We're in this contract. We have to pay in two installments so we already had to pay the one installment. We received an email from her lawyer saying 'Just a reminder, we're not in breach of contract, and you will fulfill your contract.'"

Karamanoukian said that she received an email from Kim Pegula saying that she would not try to change her mind. The Sabres have told WBEN they don't have a comment on the matter.

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