It is almost impossible to consider the option that a sports bar and a restaurant could be shutting down game nights due to recent NFL anthem protests, but it has happened and it was majestic. Beef O’Brady’s in Beavercreek, Ohio, owned by Bill DeFries decide to rethink their famous game night event due to disrespect seen by NFL players regarding the anthem, glad and the country in general.
For that purpose, DeFries met with his leadership team and analyzed what could be done about the matter and how it will affect their business.
“It started a while ago, but it really was the effect of seeing what the players did [two Sundays ago].” “I have to tell you as a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I served to defend our country’s Constitution and free speech, and while I defend the right of every American to express their views and voice this freely, the actions demonstrated by the NFL players during the country’s national anthem — it was offensive and disrespectful to me as a proud veteran and all my fellow veterans.”
He sounds certain that his restaurant will face a respective backlash.
“We are a family restaurant, and we have been for 13 years. And our customers are from the community. They come in here to relax and enjoy a meal and be entertained, in particular by the NFL on Sundays. But we also serve a lot of local military families and veterans, many of whom share my view on the NFL players’ actions during the national anthem.
“Before making this decision, I met with the leadership team to ensure we were all aligned on the issue, and we were. We knew that our sales would be negatively impacted.”
And the impact was immediate – but not in the way you might think. People started showing up in droves.
“Every day our sales have been up between 200 and 300 percent. People we have never seen before are driving hours to support us and the employees. We have received heart-warming and supportive phone calls, emails and direct messages from people all over the United States thanking us.” I feel good, but it’s not about me,” DeFries told the Dayton Daily News. “It has less to do with me now than it has to do with we. It turns out the enormous amount of pride and reverence that we have for the national anthem and everything that it means to us as a free people … is shared by the vast majority of Americans, and I’m seeing it firsthand.”
A poll conducted by CBS News asked the question, “Do you approve or disapprove of football players protesting by kneeling during the national anthem?” To this 52 percent of the people responded they don’t agree with NFL’s protesting trend whereas 38 percent approved it. Only nine remained ambivalent.