In the wake of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, ratings have taken a plunge, a majority of fans have said they’re done watching as much football as they used to, and now, advertisers are pulling out.
The owner of Flemington Car and Truck country has removed the dealership’s ads from broadcasts for the remainder of the season.
"The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem," Steve Kalafer, owner of the dealership, said in a statement. "We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity (cable) networks."
However, Kalafer stressed his problem is not with protests, but the way the NFL and team owners have not taken a leadership role in responding to the player's actions.
He feels strongly that NFL owners should have given their players direction on how to best exercise freedom of speech. As a result of lack of intervention by the owners, Kalafer said, the protests have spiraled out of control.
"Owners buried their heads in the sand when (Colin) Kaepernick was kneeling. That was the time and place for direction and leadership, and that's why this controversy is taking place," he said. (NJ.com)
Kalafer said he made the decision after hearing from employees and customers who felt disrespected by the players who knelt, stayed in the locker room, or linked arms during The Star-Spangled Banner.
"I'm talking to 99-percent of (my) contacts, and they agree that it's disrespectful, it's improper," he said. "We couldn't support the lack of direction."