Veterans of Foreign Wars Cancels NFL Subscription Amid Anthem Protests

By Bowen Xiao

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Fort Myers, Florida, have decided to cancel their NFL subscriptions after the recent spate of players kneeling during the national anthem.

The decision to cancel comes just days before Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts Sunday game after he saw players kneeling before the anthem.

VFW Commander Ralph Blydenburgh told Fox4now that even though he will lose money, he will not support those who disrespect the flag and the “the Star-Spangled Banner.”

The termination means that NFL games will no longer be shown inside their restaurant and bar, resulting in a drop in sales.

“We’re losing money because we did cancel the package,” Blydenburgh told Fox4now.

But Blydenburgh said that his stance on patriotism is worth losing money over. He explained to Fox4now that he understands what the players are protesting for, but that the issue was the platform they used.

Xavier Cooper #96 of the San Francisco 49ers and other members of the team kneel during the National Anthem before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Oct. 8, 2017. (Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

“There’s a time and a place to voice their [opinions] about anything at all and that’s what America stands for, if you have an opinion, you are permitted to voice it any way you want but not at other people’s expense,” he told Fox4now.

Other employees at the organization said that the national anthem protests hit them on a more personal level.

Tina Sorzono, mother of military veteran Scott Tully has suffered from the hardship that comes with being in a military family. She said that was her main reason to join the NFL boycott.

“I have seen my son in 13 years three Christmas’, one Thanksgiving, zero birthdays and maybe two weeks every other year,” Sorzono told Fox4now.

The mother said she has no negative feelings toward the players, but that their message is off.

“Stop thinking that it’s us. You know? I’m a white American and you automatically assume that I feel a certain way towards you. And that’s so not true,” she told Fox4now. “It doesn’t matter to me what color you are. If you’re an American, you’re an American. I got your back.”

Instead of showing NFL games, VFW will now be showing NASCAR and baseball games. They are currently working on creating a new baseball menu that they hope will help pick up sales.

Recently NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement on what he wants players to do in future games.

“Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote in a letter sent to NFL teams obtained by ESPN.

Goodell sent the letter on Tuesday, Oct. 10 just hours after President Donald Trump asked on Twitter whether NFL should keep its tax breaks while allowing players to disrespect the flag.

 
 
 
 
 

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