Protesters set to tackle Bills

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:32 AM ET

When the Buffalo Bills arrive at the Rogers Centre on Thursday evening, players might very well catch a glimpse of protesters wearing T-shirts sporting a slash through the Bills logo.

But according to Bills wide receiver Lee Evans, the anti-NFL sentiment of such CFL supporters will not make the team feel unwelcomed in Toronto. Far from it.

"I heard about that," Evans said yesterday when asked about the potential protest scheduled to take place outside the Rogers Centre about two hours prior to the 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the pre-season game between the Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Speaking after the Bills morning walkthrough at their Rochester-area training camp, Evans said such actions do not necessarily reflect the feelings of the entire community.

"When I was up there for a Blue Jays game I was welcomed by a lot of people in the crowd," the speedy wideout said. "And I think (with) us going up there, we have a good feeling and a good sense that the majority of people want us up there."

The T-shirts and protest are spearheaded by Sterling Halliday, a loyal Argos fan who does not want the NFL to invade CFL territory.

"I've probably sold close to 200 shirts already," Halliday said last night. "We've had a great response."

Halliday claims he has been warned by a Rogers Centre official that he will not be allowed in the stadium for the next Argos game if he is wearing his anti-Bills T-shirt. While the shirt supports the Argos and the CFL, don't forget that Rogers, the stadium owner, paid $78 million to bring eight Bills games to the city over the next five years.

"We'll be at the next Argos game with our shirts," Halliday said. "Let's see them try to kick me out."

VOCAL TURNOUT EXPECTED

As for the protest of the pre-season game, Halliday expects a modest but vocal turnout.

"A lot of people have e-mailed saying they love the idea but they can't make it. They'll probably be about 30 people there."

With the Bills announcing last night that all 53,000 tickets had been distributed, those attending the game or watching at home can expect to see starting quarterbacks, Trent Edwards (Bills) and Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers), play at least one quarter.

"I played a quarter in our first exhibition game, so I wouldn't be surprised if I play the entire first half," Edwards said yesterday.


Videos

Photos