Utah Company Gives Up Jazz VIP Suite over Anthem Kneeling

Utah Jazz
Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann

A large construction firm in Utah announced that it is giving up its VIP suite, after Utah Jazz players began kneeling during the national anthem.

Salt Lake County-based SME Steel Contractors said that the Jazz should “put a stop to all disrespectful actions during the anthem and remove the Black Lives Matter logo from the arena,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The company issued a letter to the team expounding on their distaste over the anthem protests. “The recent actions of the NBA—including the owners, coaches, and players of the Utah Jazz—have converted a beloved entertainment venue into a forum for dissemination of political propaganda which is divisive and completely out of step with our company and its values,” the company’s letter continued.

The Utah business criticized the whole of the NBA for restarting its 2020 season, “on what appears to be a billboard for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.”

“To say the least, it is ironic that pampered and exceptionally well-paid athletes cavalierly exercise their freedom bought for them through the courage and sacrifice of this nation’s servicemen and women by disrespectfully kneeling during the country’s anthem,” the company added.

The letter also slams the NBA for ignoring “true heroes like Chris Kyle and Pat Tillman” while promoting “names and tributes for felons.”

SME Steel Contractors next pointed out that it has spent upwards to $6 million over the last 28 years on tickets and VIP suites at Vivint Smart Home Arena, where the Jazz plays. Indeed, the company was one of the contractors that help build the arena.

But that support is no more.

The company insists that the NBA and the Jazz cannot “force paying customers, to be subjected to their ostentatious acts of disrespect for our country and its values, without any consequences.”

“Perhaps when the arenas are empty, the NBA, its franchises, and its players will rethink their present course of action. Regardless of how other patrons react, please be advised that unless and until the NBA and the Utah Jazz put a stop to all disrespectful actions during the anthem and remove the Black Lives Matter logos from the arena, SME’s suite at the Vivint Smart Home Arena will remain dark and unused. Moreover, SME will not renew its licensing agreement or make any further payment for its suite until the NBA, and its franchises again offer sports and entertainment rather than divisive political propaganda,” the letter concludes.

Upon its return in July, the Jazz united to kneel during the anthem. And the protests against the country continued as the weeks rolled on.

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