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 âwill not condone unpatriotic behavior.â More than 200 NFL players conducted protests during the national anthem last Sunday after President Trump called on the leagueâs owners to fire anyone who kneels during the pregame ceremony.
âFor the 29 states we operate in, this isnât much to them, but itâs 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 donât look for Hardwick on the NFL either,â Jones wrote on his Facebook page.
Itâs unclear how many national advertisements Jonesâ companies run on NFL broadcasts each season. Jones did not immediately respond to FOX Businessâ 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 leagueâs âbusiness is going to hellâ 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.â
While the NFLâs 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 NFLâs relationship with key corporate partners.
âWe talk to our sponsors all the time, whether itâs raining or the sun is out. Weâve talked to them, we keep them informed. I havenât heard of a single issue of a sponsor that is worried or has raised particular issue about the weekend,â NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters during a conference call Monday.