A restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, has announced that it will not show the Super Bowl this year because of the season-long protests of millionaire NFL players who refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem.
This is no sudden decision, as the owner of the Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House has been turning off the NFL all season due to the league’s disrespect for the flag, The State reported.
Owner David McCraw posted a Facebook post inviting diners to join the Jamie Wright Band to celebrate the military instead of the NFL.
“It’s disrespectful to those who have died defending our country,” McCraw said of the NFL protests. “It shows extraordinary disrespect to those who have risked their lives and have lost their lives.”
The establishment’s owner also said that his boycott of pro-football was launched independent of President Trump’s criticisms of NFL anthem protests. “It was a coincidence our feelings were the same,” McCraw said of Trump’s past comments.
“These guys are employees of the NFL. As long as the NFL condones disrespecting the national anthem, disrespecting the flag, disrespecting those who have fought and those who have died, and disrespecting the police, I won’t show it,” McCraw said.
The restaurant owner also said that his boycott has been a matter of principle and he doesn’t care if it hurt him financially.
“This decision was never a business decision,” McCraw insisted. “The fact is I’m not showing the NFL and I’m going to lose customers. … I’m not showing a product people want to see, so people are not going to come.”
It also has nothing to do with race, McCraw said. “It’s not based out of race, it’s based out of being a veteran. … I would support them on any issue if they wanted to protest, but not during the national anthem,” he added.
The restaurateur concluded saying he isn’t against free speech. Indeed, he says he is also exercising his own free speech by turning off the NFL. But, McCraw said he feels that the players have picked the wrong time to mount their protests.
“Truthfully, there is injustice in the world. … If they can come to a reasonable time to protest, and not disrespect the flag and the anthem I will show the NFL again,” he said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.