BUTLER, Pa. (KDKA) — Watching Thursday Night Football on TV was not on the agenda at several Veterans Service organizations in Butler County.
At VFW Post 249 in the City of Butler, it was a protest to the NFL players’ protest last weekend.
“It’s disrespectful if you don’t stand or salute for the national anthem or you don’t come out of the locker room for the national anthem,” VFW Post 249 Commander Floyd Case said. “It’s not a good thing. It makes me very sad.”
Case said all televised NFL games will be off limits at the post this weekend. And, he says, it’s a decision that hits the organization squarely in the pocketbook.
“Sunday is our busiest day. We have food, games,” he said. “It’s going to hit us pretty hard, but we’re willing to take a stand for what we believe in.”
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At Butler’s American Legion Post 117, there are eight TV sets, and none of them will be carrying this weekend’s NFL games.
“People get very upset. They fought hard for their country. They lost brothers, sisters, family members,” American Legion Post 117 Commander Robert Spencer said. “They’ve sacrificed for their family and their country, and they want to see players stand up and respect the flag and the national anthem.”
Just outside the City of Butler, another American Legion Post in Lyndora is following the same route with most members angry about NFL players kneeling – this, despite the players’ contention that their silent protest was against police brutality and the persistence of racial inequality.
“We all have that right to protest or not, but they have that right because our veterans, many died for that,” American Legion 778 Cmdr. Albert Worsley told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti. “My father was a World War II vet … and my dad would have been livid today.”