A New Jersey bar took a bold step to honor its local veterans by boycotting NFL games over the weekend.
Woody’s Roadside Tavern in Farmingdale opted for other forms of entertainment and in the course of the day Sunday, raised $8,000 for veterans groups.
When a veteran patron of the bar approached Woody’s co-owner Rob Johnson and his partners about boycotting the National Football League games because of the ongoing controversy over players not standing for the national anthem, Johnson told Fox Business that they “ran with it and turned it into something positive.”
“Woody’s will not be broadcasting any NFL games,” a flyer for the event read. “Instead we will host a fundraiser for Special Forces Association Chapter 19. 20% of food sales will be donated to a military family in need.”
— #UNITE Save USA (@22Americanfirst) November 11, 2017
Between 400 and 500 people came through the bar over the course of the day, many of them veterans and their families, Johnson said.
He explained that he “took away one thing” from one of his customers about the event as the veteran told him “I fought for this flag. I’ve had friends and family die for this flag. Someday I’m going to be buried in this flag. It makes you have a whole lot more respect for that flag.”
“Veterans have really been outspoken about the NFL protests,” Johnson said, adding that the veterans seemed to just enjoy being with each other Sunday. Woody’s televisions showed golf and NASCAR, which Johnson called a “very patriotic sport,” instead of any NFL games.
In addition, musical bands performed and even invited patrons to say the Pledge of Allegiance and join in singing “The Star Spangled Banner.”
“Everybody stood up. Not one kneeler in the house, ” Johnson said. “We all sang together.”
Funds raised from the event, including customer donations and 20 percent of the bar’s food sales on that day, will be going to the Green Beret Foundation as well as Special Forces Association Chapter 19. Johnson would consider doing a similar event again in the future since feedback from the boycott has been “so great and so positive.”
— Vince Wladika (@TVvInce) November 13, 2017
Asked about his thoughts on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s current contract negotiations requesting more money, Johnson had a simple response.
“I think if Roger Goodell can get free plane, free healthcare and $50 million a year on declining attendance, then more power to him,” he said.
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