FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - The owner of a Florence barbecue joint has decided not to show NFL games in his restaurant.
Players in the National Football League have recently been protesting racial inequality in the U.S. by taking a knee during the national anthem, which is played before games. These protests started this past season with quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is currently unemployed (though some argue he is still skilled enough to be a starter in the league).
This past weekend, at a speech in Alabama, President Donald Trump referred to football players who kneel during the national anthem as sons of b------. Weeks earlier, Trump had said there were good people on both sides of a protest that turned violent in Charlottesville, a protest that involved white supremacists.
Many in the sports world responded to Trump's comments from this past weekend, including a Cleveland Browns running back, who said this:
These protests have prompted restaurants in the U.S. to stop showing NFL games at their places of businesses, including a barbecue restaurant in northern Kentucky. The owner, Guy Cummins, a Marine Corps veteran, posted his reasoning to Facebook this week:
"The flag not only represents the freedoms which we hold dearly in this great country, but even more so the men and women who have lost their lives and those who are currently serving. For an individual to take a knee during the National Anthem is disrespecting all of the men and women who fought for our great nation, plain and simple," Cummins said in the social media post.
Cummins said he's not trying to stir the pot, but is taking a stand.
"I just want everyone to know if you're going to come here and watch a football game I am not going to play it. There will not be any football played in this restaurant period," he said.
Cummins said he understands the other side, but thinks not standing is the wrong way to express that.
"This isn't a military thing, this isn't a race thing... isn't a Trump thing. This is just I don't believe people should take a knee to our national anthem," he said.
The post suggests supporters of Cummins' message are encouraging other businesses to follow his lead. Cummins hashtagged the post with "No knees in this joint," "Make a stand," and "Best of NKY BBQ."
Readers can find an overview of free speech here. For example, freedom of speech includes the right not to speak -- specifically the right not to salute the flag. It also includes the right to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.