After more NFL players sit or kneel during the national anthem on Sundays, calls for a boycott of the league are beginning to surface.
Estimates indicate that as many as 200 players – or roughly 12 percent of those on active rosters – protested this past weekend during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. As those numbers have increased in recent weeks, so too have calls for boycotting the National Football League, echoing the sentiments of President Trump.
Dr. Day Gardner is a member of the Project 21 national advisory council and an executive member of the National Clergy Council. She argues that many of the players are failing to properly honor America.
"They are very wealthy men and our great country afforded them so much," she begins. "... The fact [is] that there are many men and women who died – who lost their lives – so that [these players] can have what they have and to be who they are ... and to actually take a knee or to not stand for this country is such a slap in the face."
According to Gardner, it's time for fans to take a stand.
"For us who love our country and understand that we were founded under the principles of being a very godly nation, I think we have to do what we have to do," she tells OneNewsNow, "and it's to boycott the NFL, to boycott those sponsors. It's time for us to do what we need to do – and I'm hoping that's what happens."
She adds that in her opinion, many of the players kneeling or sitting in protest aren't even sure why they are doing it.
Politicization of sports an 'overall downer'
Will corporate support for NFL kneeling cost customers at Nike, ESPN, and elsewhere? David Almasi of the National Center for Public Policy Research believes so.
It started a little more than a year ago with Colin Kaepernick – then a backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers – protesting alleged police brutality. And while some other viewpoints have since joined in the movement, basically it's an anti-police protest.
"Is that something that should be done on the sporting field?" Almasi asks. "We think it's not."
He predicts it will affect corporate sponsors and advertisers. "It's going to cost them customers in the long run because people are going to notice that these companies, when given a choice, are siding with the radicals rather than the flag [and] rather than with the police," Almasi offers.
"It's already depressing the viewership. I think it's going to depress fan support for the teams. I think it's going to keep new people away from the sport. And it's to take these companies ... right down with them."
According to Almasi, companies are joining in because they want to be part of the movement. "They say that they want free expression," he explains, "but ... it's offending people who are spending a lot of money, spending a lot of time, spending a lot of emotion on teams they want to see push a ball across a field."
The National Center reports that both ESPN and Nike are already posting losses because of their "stoking of protests" against President Trump and his policies. By virtue of their corporate support of NFL kneeling, says Almasi, "they are now doubling-down on stupid."
Editor's note: Remarks from David Almasi added after story was originally posted.