Ex-Bills Player Blasts Team’s ‘Tone Deaf’ Decision at NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills have earned some good marks for their selections at the recently concluded NFL Draft — but not so much for their decision on who announced one key pick.

The Bills tapped TikTok star Josh Richards to announce their third-round draft pick, sparking a strong reaction from teams and one former player, who called the move “tone deaf.” Many wondered why the team went against picking some of the more prominent fans, instead opting for someone who appeared to have only a tenuous connection to the team.

Bills Fans Confused Over TikTok Star’s Selection

Richards had plenty of enthusiasm while announcing the team’s third-round pick, linebacker Dorian Williams from Tulane. The social media influencer gave an exuberant shout-out to Bills fans in attendance in Kansas City before announcing the pick.

Inject @JoshRichards‘ energy into our veins. ⚡️

📺: #NFLDraft on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/C9h96KHWZz

— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) April 29, 2023

While Richards brought energy to the podium, his appearance also led to some confusion among Bills fans who were unfamiliar with the TikTok star. Former Bills lineman John Fina questioned why the team would pick a fan with more widespread appeal.

“It was tone deaf,” Fina tweeted. “That kid announcing 3rd round pick, influencer, who? what?! Who gives a #$&%. !?!? [this next part I’m withholding]”

Others believed the team could have put a spotlight on someone they thought was more deserving than the 21-year-old Ontario, Canada, native.

“Not going to make a big deal out of it.. but the @BuffaloBills could’ve given that Josh Richards draft announcement to hundreds of more deserving people,” another fan tweeted. “Someone fighting health issues.. A military vet.. Cancer survivors…”

Some pointed out that Richards seemed to have mixed football allegiances, with some pictures and videos supporting the Bills but others where he wore Miami Dolphins gear.

As the team noted, Richards has been a Bills fan since he was young, and has since amassed a big social media following across many platforms. Richards now has 26 million followers on TikTok, 6.5 million on Instagram and two million on Twitter and YouTube.

Other fans defended the team’s decision and found it amusing that it was mostly older fans who had never heard of the TikTok star.

“The olds not knowing who Josh Richards is is very very funny,” one person tweeted.

Another Bills Legend Earns Praise for Pick

Just before Richards came to the podium to announce the team’s third pick, Bills legend Fred Jackson was tapped to announce the second-round pick. The former running back used the opportunity to pay tribute to famous Bills fan Ezra Castro, who was known as Pancho Billa.

In 2018, Jackson and fellow Bills legend Andre Reed invited Castro on stage to announce the team’s third-round pick, defensive tackle Harrison Philips.

#OTD in 2018 Ezra Castro, better known to Bills fans as Pancho Billa, is invited onstage by Andre Reed and Fred Jackson to announce the Bills’ 3rd round pick, Harrison Phillips, DT Stanford pic.twitter.com/CEf7ETZl1W

— ThisDateInBuffaloSportsHistory (@BuffSportsHstry) April 27, 2020

Castro was terminally ill with cancer the following year, but the Bills arranged a special call for him to tell the team’s 2019 first-round pick, defensive tackle Ed Oliver, that he was joining the Bills.

For our first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, we called in a special friend…@PanchoBilla1. ✊ #VivaLosBills pic.twitter.com/slHMj32881

— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) April 26, 2019


Jackson’s acknowledgment of the beloved fan earned some praise from other Bills fans online, even those that disagreed with the team’s decision to tap Richards for the next one.

After Fred Jackson rocked it with the Pancho mention, this Canadian influencer Josh Richards…just didn’t work,” one person tweeted.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *