A Green Bay Packers shareholder who was denied a speaking slot at the club’s annual shareholder meeting where he intended to address the anthem protest issue, has invited President Donald Trump to attend the meeting.
Shareholder Steven Tiefenthaler asked the team to be allowed three minutes to speak about his opposition to the NFL’s player protests during the playing of the national anthem, but the team refused to allow him the time to speak.
“I just want to explain to the Packers what the flag means to me and how deeply the protests hurt the veterans I’ve spoken too,” Tiefenthaler said according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
The Green Bay Packers are a public corporation and hold an annual shareholder business meeting. However, Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy reportedly told Tiefenthaler that his topic does not fit within the meeting’s format, as there is no open mic period for shareholders to speak.
“We had a pleasant conversation with Mr. Tiefenthaler and appreciate his support of the Packers, but this is a business meeting on behalf of more than 360,000 shareholders, with several thousand present, and can’t be an open forum,” Packers COO Ed Policy told the media. “We’ve had other shareholders ask to address the annual meeting on a variety of topics over the years, but we routinely have denied those requests.”
After being denied the time to espouse his patriotic position, Tiefenthaler, who currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, sent a letter to President Trump offering the president a pair of his tickets to the meeting.
“I don’t want to get political,” Tiefenthaler told the Gazette. “That letter to Trump obviously had some political connotations, but I don’t want to get confrontational. I wanted to appeal to Packers fans and shareholders.”
Tiefenthaler credited the president with stirring the anthem debate, though, says that he thinks the whole issue may have faded away if Trump had ignored it. But the U.S. Air Force veteran also feels that the NFL’s latest attempt to address the protests will not work.
“I think it’s putting a band-aid on a greater wound. I don’t think it’s going to go away,” he insisted. “It’s got to be talked out. People have to respect other folks that talk about social injustice, but disrespecting the flag is just, just not the way to do it.
“I know there are social injustices in this country and they have to be addressed,” he concluded. “I know players hearts are in the right place, but goodness there are other ways to do it.”
The Packer’s annual shareholders meeting is scheduled to be held at Lambeau Field at 7 PM on July 18. Beer sales will be held between 8 and 9:30 PM.
The president’s office has not yet responded to the man’s offer.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.