Henry Hudson’s Pub, a divey sports bar in Northwest Houston, is the latest area establishment to take a stand against NFL players protesting during the National Anthem.
The bar announced in a Facebook post last week that it would not be buying DirectTV’s subscription to NFL games this year because “the NFL and media continue to use these games as a way to further divide our country.” “We come together to watch these games and support our teams for entertainment, it is not political and it is not educational,” the post continues. “It is for our entertainment and it always has been.” The lengthy post ends by stating that these are the opinions of the owners of the pub and may not be shared by its employees.
The ongoing controversy involving NFL players protesting during the National Anthem was kicked off in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick choose to sit or kneel during the National Anthem as a statement against police brutality and the oppression of people of color.
Sports fans and even members of the media wrongly conflated his act of protest as showing disrespect for the armed services. In preseason games just last week, players across many NFL teams chose to sit, kneel, or raise a fist in protest of various injustices. President Trump chimed in, calling for the suspension of players who protest during the National Anthem. While the 49ers franchise initially defended Kaepernick’s right to protest in 2016, the NFL organization is still reportedly figuring out its stance on the matter, and hasn’t yet weighed in on the most recent waves of dissent.
Commenters on Henry Hudson’s Pub’s Facebook post expressed both support and dismay for the bar’s new policies stating, “I’m a die hard fan of football in general, but it is getting out of hand,” and “Thanks on behalf of the veterans,” alongside other commenters explaining the bar’s misinterpretation of the protest. “The protests are well within their rights and are protesting blacks being KILLED,” reads one particularly impassioned comment. “Trump has made this into something it is not.”
Last year, a Galveston bar announced it would stop airing games of certain NFL teams that protested Trump’s policies during the National Anthem. It’s uncertain whether it affected the bar’s bottom line.
See Henry Hudson’s Pub’s full post below:
Henry Hudson’s Pub will NOT be purchasing the DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket this year.
If the NFL and media continue to use these games as a way to further divide our country, we will stop showing any NFL games altogether.
We come together to watch these games and support our teams for entertainment, it is not political and it is not educational. It is for our entertainment and it always has been.
We fully support anyones right to raise awareness for their issues and causes and believe that as sports celebrities they already have a large platform to do so. Far more than any other average American citizen. There is a time and a place and the beginning of an entertainment show is not it. During the National Anthem is not it. These are my beliefs.
There has been a new point raised about how the NFL already promotes other causes- Breast cancer, supporting the military, etc. How much support do you think they would get had they all knelt during the National Anthem?
We want the games to go back to being just that- games. Games that entertain us. After all, that is what we’re paying for. I realize this will likely impact our business. I do not make this decision lightly, I simply refuse to support very well paid athletes, kneeling during the National Anthem, and the media that continues to make that its focus. I encourage other bar owners to do the same thing.
Again, to be clear to everyone, it is not about the message, it is about the timing and the way it is being delivered. If it doesn’t change soon, we will be an NFL free zone.
These beliefs are held by the owners of Henry Hudson’s Pub and may or may not be shared by it’s employees.