A pair of Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Ohio are pushing back against NFL players who don’t stand for the national anthem — and the league likely won’t be happy about it.
The sign in front of the Strongsville post says it all: “VFW Post 3345 Home of the NFL No-Zone!!”
Tim Zvoncheck, the post’s commander, told WJW-TV that the sign was put together Monday morning.
“After what happened with the NFL players Sunday we decided to cancel our NFL Red Zone, and we will not be showing the games at our post,” he told the station. “It’s over for us.”
Post 3345 had previously boycotted viewing its own Cleveland Browns after a group of players took a knee during the national anthem last month:
— VFW Post 7472 (@VFWPost7472) August 25, 2017
Not to be outdone, VFW Post 2743 in Norwalk won’t televise NFL games anymore, either.
“This decision may be revisited if the current anti-American displays by the players are stopped,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “The players and owners of the NFL have confused Politics with Patriotism.” The post went on to say that the players could “express their concerns on what they feel are injustices within our society without displaying disrespect to our Veterans, our Country and all it stands for.”
It comes with sadness and trepidation that the Firelands VFW Post 2743 will no longer televise NFL. This decision may be…
Scores of NFL players linked arms and took a knee during the playing of the national anthem Sunday — a defiant response to headline-grabbing comments by President Donald Trump on Friday, when he suggested that team owners should fire players who disrespect the American flag.
What did the national commanders of the American Legion and VFW have to say?
The national commanders of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars ripped NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem Sunday, The Hill reported.
Denise Rohan of the American Legion said those who fail to respect the ceremonial playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” are “misguided and ungrateful,” the outlet noted.
“Having a right to do something does not make it the right thing to do,” Rohan added in her statement, The Hill said. “There are many ways to protest, but the national anthem should be our moment to stand together as one UNITED States of America.”
Keith Harman of the VFW added in a statement that “there is a time and place for civil debate, and wearing team jerseys and using sporting events to disrespect our country doesn’t wash with millions of military veterans who have and continue to wear real uniforms on real battlefields around the globe.”
But Harman and Rohan praised the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, for standing without his teammates during the anthem Sunday — a gesture the offensive lineman later apologized for undertaking, believing he inadvertently embarrassed the franchise.
Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Steelers player to come out during the national anthem pic.twitter.com/Jl7id3EGnk
— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 24, 2017
Nevertheless, Rohan said, “We salute Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who stood alone respecting the flag as his teammates stayed in their locker room.”
Harman went further, saying Villanueva showed “the rest of his team and the league what true mettle is.”
“I stand for our flag and anthem, and I kneel for our fallen,” Harman added, according to The Hill. “That’s what patriots do. We rally around the flag of our country, not use it and our Constitution as both shield and sword.”