Reactions to NFL anthem protests have been all over the map in the last week with support and criticism covering the entire spectrum. At the extreme end of the “angry and offended” side are people that have actually burned paraphernalia or season tickets because they are so upset.
There have been many more people who have threatened to boycott the league as a whole. Perhaps you’ve seen a meme or two on Facebook yourself. And now there are even businesses that following through on boycotts.
People Magazine tells the story of multiple local restaraunts throughout the country that are choosing to no longer show any NFL games at their establishments. They range everywhere from New York to Tennessee to Louisiana.
The owner of Borio’s Restaurant in Cicero, N.Y., Marty Borio, put a sign outside his eatery informing customers that he would not be showing football games as players continue to refuse to stand or come out of the locker room for the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States.
“Due to the recent decision of the Pittsburgh Stealers team to stay in the locker room during our country’s National Anthem the Borio family will no longer show the NFL in our restaurant,” reads the notice posted on Facebook. “If and when this show of disrespect ends we will be happy to show this product on our restaurant again.”
A nearby pub, Cooper’s Landing, followed suit after hearing of Borio’s decision, according to KATV. “Enough is enough. It’s time for these million dollar snowflakes to stop disrespecting the Men-Women -Dogs that signed a blank check for them to act like this,” the restaurant wrote on Facebook. “Hopefully things will change.”
Baxter’s Family Food and Fun in Hixson, Tennessee and WOW Cafe and Wingery in Chalmette, Louisiana are also refusing to air recent games. After facing backlash on Sunday for her decision, WOW’s owner, Brook Songy Anastasiadis, defended her actions.
“I stand behind my decision and I want to make this clear, the sole reason that I didn’t air the game is because I feel the players disrespected the National Anthem and that is something I hold dear to my heart,” she said in a statement. “That’s how I was raised, I have family members who served our great country in the military and I was taught to respect the National Anthem, the flag, the military and people in general.”
One supposes that these small business owners have the right to air what they would like on their televisions, just like those players have the right to take a knee whenever they feel like. But from a business perspective, there are a ton of people that go out to restaurants and bars to hang out and watch football on a Sunday. If you don’t have DirecTV and want to watch multiple games, or watch your favorite team who’s out of market, sometimes it’s your only option. By boycotting the NFL, you’re not only losing customers who support the anthem protests, you’re losing people who just want to escape and watch football and follow their fantasy team. (And as this story continues to go on, I’m sure that contingent is growing.)
Football on Sundays used to be one of the few things that actually drew people together across this country, but I guess you can strike that off the list now, at least for the time being.