An online radio station based out of Oklahoma gave veterans free car washes with the NFL treatment on Saturday.
Volunteers at the event used NFL jerseys and other sports gear to wash down veterans’ vehicles for three hours as a response to NFL players protesting the national anthem before games.
“We met some great people, heard some wonderful stories from the veterans and their spouses,” Blake Wolney, owner of the rock station Bladerunner Radio, told KOCO in an email.
Wolney said that radio station employees came up with the idea after thinking about how to create an event that would help people in need and start a trend on social media.
“We started off with the idea of doing an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and we thought we’ll take a bunch of NFL gear and destroy it and start it on fire and burn and donate money to veterans, like they do with ALS,” Wolney said Friday. “And then we thought, you know, there’s so much negativity and animosity the way it is.”
Instead of burning the merchandise, they came up with the idea of using NFL jerseys and other accessories to wash cars.
“It’s not so much a political statement as it is just an opportunity to exercise our rights and show our American veterans some respect,” Wolney said.
Many NFL fans fought back after players, coaches, and staff members refused to stand for the anthem out of protest. Fans burned their gear and decided not to watch NFL games in protest of the teams that refused to stand for the anthem.