FORT MYERS, Fla. — Days before Vice President Mike Pence left the Indianapolis Colts Sunday game after seeing players kneel before the anthem, the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Fort Myers decided to cancel its NFL Sunday Ticket subscription.
The cancelation means NFL games will not be shown inside their restaurant and bar. It also means taking a dip in sales.
"We’re losing money because we did cancel the package," said VFW Commander Ralph Blydenburgh.
Blydenburgh says his stance on patriotism is worth losing the money. He explained that he understands that the NFL players kneeling during the anthem are protesting the injustice and inequality that they've seen in their communities, but wants them to use a different platform.
"“There’s a time and a place to voice their options about anything at all and that’s what America stands for, if you have an opinion, you are permitted to voice it any way you want but not at other people’s expense.”
For other employees, the national anthem protests hits closer to home.
Tina Sorzono, mother of military veteran Scott Tully, has dealt with the emotional hardship that comes with being in a military family. She says that's her main reason why she's joining in on the NFL boycott.
“I have seen my son in 13 years three Christmas’, one thanksgiving, zero birthdays and maybe two weeks every other year.”
Sorzono said she fully supports the reasons players are kneeling and wants them to understand that.
“Stop thinking that it’s us. You know? I’m a white American and you automatically assume that I feel a certain way towards you. And that’s so not true," she said. "It doesn’t matter to me what color you are. If you’re an American, you’re an American. I got your back.”
VFW will be showing NASCAR and baseball games instead of NFL ones. They are working on creating a "baseball menu" that they hope will bring up sales.