Just days ago, a Marine veteran and the owner of a sports restaurant pulled the plug on the NFL to protest the “disrespect” of professional football players during the national anthem.
When Bill DeFries met with his leadership team to discuss cutting off the NFL from his Beef O’Brady’s restaurant TVs, he didn’t know what the move would mean.
The franchise owner told Fox Business that he knew one thing, however — he’d had enough:
“It started a while ago, but it really was the effect of seeing what the players did [two Sundays ago].
I have to tell you as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I served to defend our country’s Constitution and free speech, and while I defend the right of every American to express their views and voice this freely, the actions demonstrated by the NFL players during the country’s national anthem — it was offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran and all my fellow veterans.”
DeFries told Fox Business that he believed the restaurant would take a financial hit:
“We are a family restaurant, and we have been for 13 years. And our customers are from the community. They come in here to relax and enjoy a meal and be entertained, in particular by the NFL on Sundays. But we also serve a lot of local military families and veterans, many of whom share my view on the NFL players’ actions during the national anthem.
Before making this decision, I met with the leadership team to ensure we were all aligned on the issue, and we were. We knew that our sales would be negatively impacted.”
The impact to his bottom line was felt immediately.
DeFries told Fox News that when he called to get a refund on his DirecTV NFL package, he was told he’d have to eat the $6,000 fee. DirecTV told him it was giving refunds only to residential customers and not business accounts. He said that his restaurant has formally requested a refund.
But then something happened.
DeFries told the Dayton Daily News that people have been coming. In droves:
“Every day our sales have been up between 200 and 300 percent. People we have never seen before are driving hours to support us and the employees. We have received heart-warming and supportive phone calls, emails and direct messages from people all over the United States thanking us.”
DeFries said, “It turns out the enormous amount of pride and reverence that we have for the national anthem and everything that it means to us as a free people … is shared by the vast majority of Americans.”
And he said he’s “seeing it firsthand.”