Conviction over cash: Ringling bar owner stands by NFL boycott - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Conviction over cash: Ringling bar owner stands by NFL boycott

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A small town business owner is making a big statement by boycotting NFL games, as player protests continue.

Thursday will be the first night Kurt Bekemans, co-owner of the Ringling Bar, will not be showing football at his bar.

“The players have every right in the world to protest,” Bekemans said, “…and I have every right to turn the channel.”

NFL players have been kneeling during the national anthem ahead of games to protest racially-motivated police brutality.

Bekemans says the players have a right to protest, but he sees kneeling during the anthem as disrespectful to the flag and military.

“Without that anthem or that flag, we wouldn't even have a country, much less a country that gives these athletes the opportunity that they get. “

Ringling is a town of 20 people near White Sulphur Springs. It’s now receiving a lot of attention after Bekemans posted his NFL blackout Tuesday evening on Facebook, and the post has gone viral.

“The Ringling Bar will no longer show any NFL games. This will allow us to air the PBR, Rodeo and NASCAR events whose competitors are true Americans! Sorry for any inconvenience.

Bekemans post has nearly 500 shares and hundreds of comments. He says online, the feedback has been 85/15 positive to negative and he’s received many phone calls in support of his blackout and only one negative phone call.

“Whenever you take a stand like this, it's not smart business but I'm the kind of guy that hit me and I had to do it. “

Bekemans says it’s hard for him personally, as he is a big fan of the NFL and loves watching the games throughout the week.

To get the games back on in his bar, Bekemans says the league would have to return to what he calls the ‘pre-Colin Kapernick era’ when players stood for the anthem during the game. 

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