Restaurant Owner Won’t Show NFL Games Until Players Stop Kneeling During National Anthem

September 25, 2017 Updated: September 25, 2017

A restaurant in South Carolina will not play National Football League games until players stop disrespecting the American flag by kneeling during the National Anthem.

“No NFL games will be played at Palmetto Alehouse until every player stands in respect to our flag and our country,” David McCraw, the owner of Palmetto Restaurant & Ale House, wrote in a message on Facebook. “This is a position that I’m going to take and I hope you will support me.”

McCraw has lived all of his life in South Carolina, except for the four years he spent in the military. He feels that the players who kneel during the National Anthem disrespect the country he loves and the flag he served to protect.

“I feel that it’s totally disrespectful to the men and women who are serving our country right now, who are laying their lives on the line for our country, for the rights that we have, that we enjoy,” McCraw told Fox Carolina.

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Members of the New England Patriots kneel on the sidelines as the National Anthem is played before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

McCraw built his restaurant in 2012 and has been in business just over five years. He agrees with the sentiment behind what the NFL players are sending but disagrees with the way they are choosing to send it.

“I want people to realize one thing. It’s that I believe what the players are saying,” McCraw said. “We do have a race issue in the United States and our community leaders and our national leaders need to get together along with the people who are protesting to bring ideas to solve the issues.”

“The one issue that I have is how they are disseminating the message,” McCraw said. “There has to be a fine line between being able to say what you want to say and to disseminate it without disrespecting our nation and the men and women who are serving our country.”

Since he announced the boycott against the NFL, McCraw has seen mostly positive responses from patrons. There have been some people who disagreed with his move to turn off NFL, but McCraw believes they don’t realize that he actually supports the NFL players’ message.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wide Receivers Mike Evans #13, and DeSean Jackson #11, take a knee during the national anthem before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on September 24, 2017. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

McCraw’s boycott of the NFL in his restaurant began after seeing a wave of NFL players kneel during the national anthem on Sunday, Sept. 24. The NFL players we responding to comments made by President Donald Trump, who asked that players be fired or suspended if they kneel during the National Anthem.

“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday, Sept. 25. “It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!”

McCraw agreed with Trump when the president demanded respect for the flag. He also felt the players’ protest could be disseminated in a more appropriate way.

“Those people are there to entertain us, they’re not there to educate us,” McCraw said. “We don’t need to be told by athletes or celebrities how to think.”

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Members of the New England Patriots kneel during the National Anthem before a game against the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., on Sept. 24, 2017. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Having served in the military, McCraw said he was sickened to see the disrespect conveyed by the protesting NFL players.

“By taking a knee and not respecting our flag and not respecting the United States is a direct contradiction to the men and women who are serving our country,” McCraw said.

“More importantly, the people who have passed away serving our country, who are now residing in Arlington cemetery, those people have given the ultimate price for the very rights that we have today: to be able to say what we want to say and do what we want to do,” he added.