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Blowback Begins Against NFL #TakeTheKnee

According to CBS4 Denver, Broncos linebacker Von Miller may be out an endorsement deal as a result of kneeling during the National Anthem.

Broncos protestBefore the team’s game with the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Miller was one of 32 members of the Broncos who took a knee in disrespect of the pre-game playing of the National Anthem.

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As a result of his actions before the game, Phil Long dealership asked CBS4 and other television stations to stop airing their ads featuring Von Miller. The general manager of Phil Long Ford in Denver told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger that Miller has not been fired, but instead they are changing some advertising.

After the news leaked of the change in advertising strategy the Ford dealership issued the following statement:

We are evaluating the events of the weekend.  It is important to state that we haven’t fired Von. We are in the middle of contract renewal and this weekend’s events remind us that sometimes we feel that we best represent ourselves. We support Von and his first amendment rights, we know Von and he’s a good person. He donated a police car to his hometown police dept. All that notwithstanding when we bring in celebrities to represent us we run the risk of being misrepresented.

We, like millions of Americans are concerned and will respond consistently with our values as a proud American company founded by a war hero (Phil Long).  While we can’t control the actions of others we can be responsible for how we support our nation and community.  That is why, years ago, our principal owner, Jay Cimino, founded the Mount Carmel Veteran’s Service center, and is supported by all Phil Long Dealerships.  We support this cause not just with our words, but financially as well, and it is serving hundreds of veterans in need right here in Colorado.  This would be a great time for our community to show support for our military community by supporting this cause or others that continue to serve them after they serve us.

The protest by Von Miller and other Broncos players came a day after Broncos CEO Joe Ellis voiced his support for players who chose to kneel during the national anthem.

However, as much as Ellis may support his players in their unpatriotic acts, his customers – the fans – have a very different view.

Denver’s 9 News Channel’s comment forum was deluged with negative comments about the unpatriotic and disrespectful conduct by Denver Broncos players:

Nancy Allen wrote this lengthy post:

Today, the NFL died to me. I have been a loyal, faithful Denver Broncos fan for nearly 50 years! You turning your back on my flag? The flag that affords you the privilege to play the game you love on a field & earn millions of dollars doing it? I'm turning my back on you & just so you know, I can live without the NFL but the NFL cannot live without me & the millions of white fans that fill those stadiums!

Her comments were echoed by many on the 9NEWS Facebook page throughout the day, as players across the NFL knelt - or didn't even leave the locker room - for the National Anthem. Viewers generally sided against the protests, at least on social media.

"I loved the Broncos, I am very disappointed in them and the NFL," Tamara Maxwell said. "I am boycotting the NFL for the disrespect to the USA and the men and women that have fought and are fighting now to protect us."

"Not my team anymore," Rae Hall said. "My husband served for the flag."

Some were harsher in their criticisms of the team. Jerry McGeorge referred to the players as "Kneeling Donkeys" on a post about the Broncos' loss.

"Let's stop going to all the games until they start respecting our country and flag," Karen Williams said. "They are a total embarrassment!!!!"

"Broncos, that's payback for taking a knee!" said Linda Lello after the loss. "What goes around comes around. Lost so much respect for our team and for John Elway."

Some viewers took a more measured tone in their thoughts on the matter reported Denver News Channel 9.

"They have a right to kneel," Shawn House said. "The president has a right to speak. We all have a right to not watch anymore. Freedom. It's what’s for dinner."

"Doesn't matter what side of the fence you are on," Sally Sanders wrote. "This is going to hurt the NFL." 

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We urge all CHQ readers to take a hard look at any local advertising featuring NFL players and if any ads feature players who disrespect the flag and the national anthem, we urge you to contact the sponsor and demand they drop the player as their spokesman.

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