After this past weekend’s league-wide protests during the national anthem, a Harlingen bar owner says he’s not showing games in which players kneel.
“Not for the entire season,” said Classic’s Bar & Grill owner Bryan Heiskell. “I’ll boycott it up until the point the NFL does something about it.”
Heiskell, a 13-year veteran, says he doesn’t like how some players have chosen to protest.
“I think it could be handled differently and my personal feelings– the kneeling during the national anthem is a disrespect towards me, other veterans, fallen veterans, millions of veterans,” said Heiskell.
Numerous veterans have come out in support of the movement, but Heiskell says that’s their opinion and he’s entitled to his own.
Charles Olney is a political science professor at UTRGV in Brownsville.
He says the focus of people watching the protest changes from the players protesting racial injustice and inequality to ‘they are against America’, because in large part, America has trouble thinking in serious ways about race.
“People are so uncomfortable reckoning with someone who stands in front of them and says, ‘We need to talk seriously about the way in which racism is still embedded in our country,’ that they want to make the conversation about anything else it could possibly be about,” Olney said.
Heiskell preferred the way the Cowboys protested–before the anthem was played.
“At any point in the game, just not during the national anthem,” said Heiskell. “I think that’s the time of standing, uniting and remembering what America is about and go from there.”
NFL players took a knee and locked arms, while some teams stayed in the locker room during the national anthem to show the world that they are unified over the issue, as well as against the messages put out on Twitter by President Donald Trump.
Olney says while the league knelt for unity, the original message is still there.
“They’re saying, ‘This is still about the initial things it was supposed to be about,” said Heiskell. “’It is about police violence. It is about the way people are treated different based on the color of their skin.'”