While the #takeaknee National Anthem protest actually started in 2016 by Colin Kaepernick, the issue is only just now getting fired up. So far this past week, over 200 NFL players have knelt during the anthem. The response from NFL fans has been outrage!
However not only are the fans outraged, we are starting to see that some businesses that advertise during NFL games and sponsors are outraged as well. While they are not taking to social media and burning their NFL fan apparel and gear, they are doing better than that, they are talking with their money.
On Sunday before the Buffalo Bills game, player Von Miller and other players knelt during the anthem. Miller found out some bad news related to his disrespect of the flag thereafter the game. Miller’s sponsor, Phil Long Ford in Denver pulled his ads which featured Miller in the advertisements. Long issued this statement;
“We are evaluating the events of the weekend. It is important to state that we haven’t fired Von. We are in the middle of contract renewal and this weekend’s events remind us that sometimes we feel that we best represent ourselves. We support Von and his first amendment rights, we know Von, and he’s a good person. He donated a police car to his hometown police dept. All that notwithstanding when we bring in celebrities to represent us we run the risk of being misrepresented.
We, like millions of Americans, are concerned and will respond consistently with our values as a proud American company founded by a war hero (Phil Long). While we can’t control the actions of others, we can be responsible for how we support our nation and community. That is why, years ago, our principal owner, Jay Cimino, founded the Mount Carmel Veteran’s Service center, and is supported by all Phil Long Dealerships. We support this cause not just with our words, but financially as well, and it is serving hundreds of veterans in need right here in Colorado. This would be a great time for our community to show support for our military community by supporting this cause or others that continue to serve them after they serve us.”
Phil Long Ford is not alone. Check Into Cash founder and Cleveland, Tennessee native Allan Jones posted on his Facebook page that he is pulling all commercials for Check Into Cash, Buy Here Pay Here USA, and U.S. Money Shops during NFL games for the rest of the season.
When fans speak with their wallets, businesses listen. So far we haven’t seen any big NFL sponsors pull out of the NFL, but who knows what could happen over time?
Perhaps, these NFL players will learn that they really need to find another way to protest the issue they are trying to speak about. Thus far, taking a knee during the national anthem, is only telling Americans that they have no respect for our flag, this country, or the gift of freedom that has come to all of us at such a high cost.