S&Z Grocery in Athens, Alabama, owner Phillip Stewart published a notice on Facebook. I might lose business because of this,” he said. He continued by saying that he had observed the NFL logo on his most recent delivery of Pepsi goods. I won’t submit, he declared. “Not as long as athletes are permitted to prostrate themselves and disgrace the flag and the nation I adore,” the athlete said. Nearly 2000 people commented on his article from October 2018, the majority of whom were Stewart’s friends and clients.
While the national anthem was playing in 2016, NFL player Colin Kaepernick made the controversial decision to kneel in protest of the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement against people of color. People who viewed the behavior as disloyal and disrespectful to our country’s veterans and those who claim that Colin spoke with a veteran before his protest and decided that kneeling would be regarded a symbol of respect are on opposite sides of the country’s reaction. Many believe that businesses that support the NFL on a regular basis are also showing contempt.
The passing of George Floyd has recently reopened this discussion. When an officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” and cried for his mother, the officer used excessive force, and Floyd died as a result. Others assert that their major concern with NFL players kneeling during games is that they are paid to play, not protest. This group of people believes that while protesting is a right, athletes should do so on their own time.
Stewart, who claimed, “I just don’t agree with the tactic,” appears to fall into the latter camp, but he did recognize that Kaepernick’s protest has raised awareness and that it might have some positive effects. He continued by saying that he would still sell Pepsi products, but only those without the NFL logo on the label. The comments were divided.
How can kneeling to denounce the murder of innocent people violate the flag, asked W. Faye Ingram? The flag represents bravery and the defense of this nation and [its] people. Despite the fact that I am from Athens, there is no danger that you will lose me as a customer as I have never heard of your tiny grocery store. I wish you well because everyone in this country has the freedom to protest anything they find objectionable about it. Mr. Jason Stewart added, “This individual does donate to numerous causes. Sponsor a family in need for Christmas. He continuously loses money by letting people charge him even though he might never get it back. Always a giver, yet the NFL has never contributed anything.