The New Orleans Saints have the right to protest the flag all they want. However, bars in the New Orleans area also have the right to not show the protests on their TV screens. Now it appears that one such bar in Louisiana is doing just that.
WOW Cafe & Wingery in St. Bernard Parish has announced on their Facebook page, that they will not be showing the Saints upcoming game against the Panthers on Sunday.
Owner Brook Songy Anastasiadis wrote, “I apologize to all of our guests but we will not be viewing the Saints game today in house. Some of our local players chose to sit during the National Anthem, which will not be supported or praised at WOW. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.”
A flurry of reaction greeted the bar’s strong stand, some of it negative. One Facebook user said, “You fail to understand the real issue. It’s not about the military or the flags. Don’t you think these very men have military members in their families that they honor and respect. Shame on you for avoiding the real issues. You will never get my business.”
However, by no means was all the Facebook reaction negative. One user even said they would make a road trip just to visit the bar, “Coming from Atlanta just to visit your establishment.”
Nor, was that an isolated incident, “We live out of town but will now make it a priority to eat here whenever we pass through. Thank you for standing for our heros and not misguided millionaires.”
Another said, “Congrats on being The Kind of America we need.!!!!”
Others pledged loyalty for life, “yall have a new customer for life, thanks for not playing the game.”
And others, “Thank you for Standing for our Veterans. We are ready for a road trip to your restaurant. See you soon.”
According to Fox News, “A spokesman for Anastasiadis, Ray Sutherlin, said it was not her intention to “start a firestorm, she simply did what she felt was right.””
The spokesman also pointed out the fact that freedom and rights are a two-way street. The players have exercised their rights, his clients are simply exercising theirs. The spokesman said, “the players exercised their right not to stand for the National Anthem and she exercised her right not to air the game because of their actions. The freedom goes both ways.”
Anastasiadis concluded her message by saying, “We won’t ever all agree on these sensitive topics and I understand that,” , “I strongly believe in the support of our country, our flag, the military, the National Anthem and I always will.”
One thing we can agree on, is that this move takes guts. Bars derive a significant amount of their revenue from crowds gathered to watch sporting events. Which shows that for some, this issue is about more than money.