Kyle Okposo is a news junkie. He knows the political and sports worlds have collided.

As the Sabres forward has watched the angry drama play out, he's wished people would listen to each other rather than yell.

"As a country we need to become more tolerant of people and of views," Okposo said Tuesday. "If you want to speak out on equality, I think that's a good thing and that's definitely your right. I also think it doesn't have to be as loud all the time, you know?"

The current debate is NFL players kneeling or avoiding the national anthem before games. Okposo is a Minnesota native who has represented the United States six times and spent a year in the U.S. National Team Development Program.

He wouldn't kneel for the anthem, but he says those who do have the right.

"Protecting the First Amendment is a huge thing," Okposo said in HarborCenter. "I'm a proud American, and I'm proud to be from the United States. Myself personally, I wouldn't kneel for an anthem, but I respect those that do.

"That's obviously been an issue for a while, and it's really got brought up through the election cycle and everything that happened last year. It really got magnified. Those guys have a right to do that. Those guys have a right to say what they feel.

"To be honest with you, I think every little thing is getting so magnified now and people are starting to talk about every little bit and piece that we're kind of forgetting what brings us together as Americans: That's togetherness and being together and working to help out one another.

"You see the response from the natural disasters that have happened, people helping out each other. It doesn’t matter if you're black, white or anything. You're in there to help people. We need to come together."