More businesses are starting to feel the effects of the wave of political protests engulfing the NFL as fans who feel forced to choose between their sport or their country drop their support.
Now, owners and managers of WAVE Country bar reported a steady drop in interest from customers on NFL game days.
The bar owners blame the drop on the politically charged controversy centered on NFL players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.
At one TK’s Pub in Fern Creek, Kentucky, it used to be difficult to even get a seat at the bar on game day, but recently instead it is difficult to get a word in edge-wise when a player takes a knee.
The owner, Todd King said he is fed up with the whole debate. He told CBS affiliate KSLA that he plans to keep the NFL games playing on his television screens in his bar, but he will no longer be watching or caring.
“Made me not want to watch football,” King told KSLA. “It’s painful in our country not to watch football.”
Now in a personal protest, King removed a prize NFL souvenir that he had put on display in the bar for 15 years. The item was a Cleveland Browns helmet autographed by former University of Kentucky and Browns quarterback Tim Couch.
King seemed to have no regrets when he tossed the helmet into a trash can and filled it’s former position on the shelf with an American flag.
When a reporter asked King why he got rid of such a popular souvenir, he told KSLA that: “The flag means more, absolutely.”
On Sunday during the game there was another instance of a citizen taking matters into his own hands.
During the Oct. 22 game between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers, a plane circled Lambeau Field with a large banner attached to it, reading, “Real men and NFL owners should stand for our country!”
Plane circling Lambeau Field flying banner: "Real men and NFL owners should stand for our country!" pic.twitter.com/gHFO43cDm8
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 22, 2017
The plane’s message resonates with President Donald Trump, who has been a strong advocate for standing and respecting the American flag during the anthem.
The president has pulled no punches in lambasting players who kneel during the anthem, and on Oct. 23, again commented about it on Twitter.
“Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!” he tweeted.
Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017
About a week ago, Trump urged the league to take a stronger stance. “Too much talk, not enough action. Stand for the National Anthem,” he tweeted on Oct. 18.
The kneeling was first started last year by currently unsigned former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who claimed he was protesting “police brutality” and “racial injustice.” But many have questioned his methods, saying it is not the time, the place, nor the way to make such a statement.