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Buffalo Bills kicker Tyler Bass reacts after missing a field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, January 21.
The non-profit cat adoption agency in Western New York says it has received more than $150,000 in pledged donations since declaring its support for Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyler Bass, calling him “Cat Dad.”
“We stand with Tyler Bass. Don’t bully our friend,” the Ten Lives Club posted on Facebook on Monday.
The organization says Bass received criticism online after he missed a 44-yard field goal late in Sunday’s 27-24 playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Ten Lives Club, founded in 2001, invited fans to show their support for Bass by pledging to donate $22 to the organization in Bass’ name. Bass wears the Bills’ No. 2 jersey.
Previously, Bass had not missed any of his field goal attempts in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter or in overtime when his team was tied or trailing by three or fewer points.
Ten Lives Club knows a thing or two about Bass that others may not.
As the group said on Facebook, “Tyler doesn’t deserve any of the hate he’s getting. He’s an excellent football player and an even better person, and he took the time to help our organization and rescue cats last year. Leave our friend alone.”
Ten Lives Club’s original post showed a photo of Bass posing with a kitten in a campaign titled “Show Your Soft Side.” The accompanying caption refers to Bass as “Cat Dad”.
The nonprofit’s announcement reads: “No wonder Tyler Bass is so quick on his feet. He’s part of the cat.”
CNN reached out to Bass and the Bills.
As of Tuesday evening, the Ten Lives Club had raised more than $155,000 through Facebook, its website, Venmo and a $5,000 donation from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the club’s public relations director, Kimberly LaRosa, told CNN in an email.
“Donations come from all types of football fans — Chiefs, Steelers, even Dolphins fans,” LaRussa said.
One post read: “I’m a born and bred Bears fan, but I have a lot of Bills fans in my life – I gladly and happily donated!”
Another donor says: “Chiefs are fans here. Happy to donate!”
LaRosa told CNN affiliate WKBW on Tuesday that she hopes people will see that there is more than just football, but also life.
“He’s a human being, he’s a person, we all have feelings. I know people are very passionate about football in Western New York, but you also have to think about him as a person, and the human being he is.”
He added: “He is an excellent footballer, and he is an excellent human being as well.”
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