No Nike gear allowed?
A Lugoff business owner has decided to boycott the NFL for the second consecutive season after ongoing protests during the national anthem.
Dave Pettinelli, the owner of Dave’s Place in Lugoff, is a veteran and said he disagrees with the time and manner of players who choose to kneel during the national anthem.
“Our national anthem is a minute and forty seconds long,” he said. “So if they kneel for 18 games per season, that’s about 25 minutes a year. My theory is, if they want to kneel for 25 minutes a year that’s fine, but what are they doing with the other 500,000 minutes in the year?”
Pettinelli said during the offseason, the NFL has taken steps in the right direction to addressing the issue, but not enough has been done.
“I think they take one step forward and go back twos steps,” he said. “They really haven’t solved the issue.”
He first displayed a sign of the NFL logo with a red slash through it last August during the preseason. Over the last year, he said business has been up as a result of the sign, but that wasn’t the original goal behind putting it up.
“People come in and they tell me I’m doing the right thing,” he said. “I’ve noticed business has gone up as a result of the sign but that’s not why I did it. It’s my personal belief and opinion and that’s why I put it up in the first place.”
Stoney Wages, a frequent customer at Dave’s Place, served three tours in Vietnam and no longer watches the NFL at home.
“I called my cable company and told them I don’t want to watch anything having to do with the NFL,” he said. “I think during the anthem they ought to show a little respect for the country. They got the rest of the day, the rest of the week to go outside and get on their knees whenever they want. Like I’ve said before, church is a good place to get on your knees.”
Other customers said while they don’t take issue with the sign posted on the restaurant, they wish there wasn’t as much focus on the pre-game activities.
“We shouldn’t be acknowledging people and what they’re doing while they’re acknowledging our country,” one customer said. “If you want to stand, you stand. If you want to kneel, you kneel. Let’s get the game going.”