Tennessee business owner pulls NFL ads over 'unpatriotic' protests

A Cleveland, Tennessee business owner is pulling commercials from NFL broadcasts for the rest of the season due to ongoing player protests of the national anthem.

Allan Jones, CEO of Check Into Cash and suit maker Hardwick Clothes, said his companies “will not condone unpatriotic behavior.” More than 200 NFL players conducted protests during the national anthem last Sunday after President Trump called on the league’s owners to fire anyone who kneels during the pregame ceremony.

“For the 29 states we operate in, this isn’t much to them, but it’s a lot to us. The Tombras Group is our ad agency in Knoxville and our national media buyer for both TV and radio [for Check Into Cash] and don’t look for Hardwick on the NFL either,” Jones wrote on his Facebook page.

It’s unclear how many national advertisements Jones’ companies run on NFL broadcasts each season. Jones did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Trump has repeatedly accused NFL players in recent days of disrespecting the flag and the country through their national anthem protests. The president warned this week that the league’s “business is going to hell” because of the ongoing demonstrations.

"I think the NFL is in a box; I think they're in a really bad box," Trump told reporters. "You look what's happening with their ratings, frankly, the only thing doing well in the NFL is the pregame because everybody wants to see what's going on.”

While the NFL’s television ratings are down 11% year-over-year through the first three weeks of the season, a league official denied earlier this week that the protests were impacting the NFL’s relationship with key corporate partners.

“We talk to our sponsors all the time, whether it’s raining or the sun is out. We’ve talked to them, we keep them informed. I haven’t heard of a single issue of a sponsor that is worried or has raised particular issue about the weekend,” NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters during a conference call Monday.