Virginia Sports Bar Owner Pulls Plug on NFL Games After National Anthem Protests

Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press

A Northern Virginia sports bar owner will no longer show NFL games at his establishment following many NFL players’ decision to protest the national anthem.

R.L. Butler, who owns Fat Tuesday’s in Fairfax, said he is pulling the plug on NFL games at his restaurant in protest of the NFL players who “took a knee,” Fox 5 DC reports.

Butler said his decision to ban the showing of NFL games was motivated in part by his daughter, who served a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan.

“After the football players were doing their protests, I realized this weekend that this is getting to a point where it’s pretty serious and also to a point where it’s very foolish,” Butler said, adding:

So after the Sunday game and the Monday night game, I woke up Tuesday morning thinking this is wrong and I started thinking about my daughter, and I said, “Well, what would have happened if my daughter comes home or would have came home in a box or a body bag or a wheelchair or something?”

The restaurant owner discussed it with his wife, and she agreed to make a flyer stating that Fat Tuesday’s would no longer air NFL games until the players, coaches, and owners stop their protests.

The flyer went viral after it was posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, but the couple took the Facebook page down after receiving personal threats. Butler said that despite the personal attacks, the feedback was “95 percent positive.”

Butler said he would lift the ban if “the NFL gets their grips and [has] their players respect the flag and our national anthem.”

Other sports bars and eateries have opted not to show NFL games in light of the protests, including one sports bar in Louisiana and a California pizzeria.

Fans are also protesting their NFL teams for partaking in the protests by posting videos online of themselves burning their gear. Green Bay Packers fans ignited their Packers paraphernalia, and Pittsburgh Steelers fans torched their Steelers accessories.


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