Buffalo Bills fans are rallying around kicker Tyler Bass days after his missed field-goal attempt would have tied the AFC divisional game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Bass has worked with Ten Lives Club, a cat rescue and adoption group, in the past, and days after deactivating his social media accounts and receiving threats online, the Bills kicker is getting some support.
Ten Lives Club began receiving calls Monday with people wanting to donate $22 in honor of Bass, who wears No. 2 and has spent all four of his NFL seasons with the Bills.
When those phone calls started coming in, that's when Ten Lives Club learned of the abuse Bass was receiving online. The organization then posted on Facebook a message of support.
"WE STAND WITH TYLER BASS. DON’T BULLY OUR FRIEND. We just heard the terrible news that Tyler Bass is receiving threats after yesterday’s game and our phones are ringing off the hook from people who want to donate $22 to Ten Lives Club in Tyler’s name.
"Tyler doesn’t deserve any of the hate he’s receiving. He’s an excellent football player and an even better person who took the time to help our organization and rescue cats last year. Leave our friend alone."
Bass' missed field goal attempt came with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter and the Bills down three points. The Chiefs would go on to win 27-24 and advance to the AFC championship game.
As of Tuesday morning, over $28,000 in total has been donated. The money will stay in Western New York and will allow them to help them find new homes for animals.
“Leave our friend alone. He’s a great guy. He’s a good person and we think you should leave him alone,” Kimberly LaRussa, public relations manager for Ten Lives Club told WIVB. “We’re Tyler Bass’ biggest fans here at Ten Lives Club. It’s not every day that a celebrity that helps out an organization, and he is a celebrity that does.”
Bass was a part of Ten Lives Club's Show Your Soft Side campaign, and while other athletes who were involved chose to support dog shelters, Bass was all about the cats., according to LaRussa.
“When the Show your Soft Side campaign came out, a lot of the athletes wanted to help the dogs, but Tyler said, ‘No, I want to help the cats.’ He’s just a really nice person and we’re really grateful the community is stepping up right now to help our rescue cats,” LaRussa added.
Bills teammates support Bass
Bass pointed the finger at himself after Sunday's defeat saying, "Ultimately, it's completely on me. I've got to do a better job of getting through to my target. ... I've been here long enough to know that you have to do that. ... I feel terrible, you know? I love this team and it hurts. This one hurts bad. Yeah, I've got to do a better job. Totally on me."
But Bass' teammates weren't letting him shoulder all the blame for the loss.
“We have full confidence in Tyler,” said Bills head coach Sean McDermott. “He's kicked well for us over the years."
"I wish it wouldn't have been put in that situation," said Bills quarterback Josh Allen. "You win as a team, you lose as a team. One play doesn't define a game, it doesn't define a season. I know people are going to be out there saying that. We got to be there for him because, again, we execute a couple plays prior, probably singing a different tune right now."