Budweiser is actively seeking customer opinions on NFL sponsorship; the number to call …

Anheuser-Busch, one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors, is weighing feedback from its customers on its sponsorship of the NFL.

The NFL player protests of the National Anthem have backfired in a major way on the league. It has seen sponsors pull out, ratings decline and teams play in front of practically empty stadiums.

But a sponsor like Budweiser ending its support of the league would be a devastating blow.

And if the company’s hotline is to be believed, the NFL has something to be concerned about.

When customers call the number, 1-800-342-5283, they are greeted by a recording which gives, as its first option, a chance for anyone for or against the player protests to voice their opinions.

“If you are calling with questions or comments about Anheuser-Busch’s sponsorship of the NFL, press one,” the recorded voice says.

“At Anheuser-Busch we have a long heritage of supporting the nation’s armed forces, veterans and military dependants,” the voice says. “The National Anthem is a point of pride for our company and for the 1,100 veterans that we employ. Please feel free to share your feedback after the tone.”

And, in a video that has been watched more than 77,000 times, comedian Steve Spell II did exactly that.

“I do not approve of the NFL football players protesting on the sideline while the National Anthem is playing. I do not approve of them taking a knee,” he said. “If you are supporting this, Anheuser-Busch, I will never buy your product again and I will ask all of my followers never to buy any of your products ever again.”

“I want you guys to abandon the NFL until they stop taking a knee and disrespecting our flag,” he said.

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The video has been shared more than 2,500 times since Thursday.

The company was inundated with so many calls that the helpline went offline on Friday, according to Fox 2 Now.

Anheuser-Busch released the following statement regarding the controversy.

“These are complex issues that require in-depth discussions and nuanced debate. What I can say is that at Anheuser-Busch we have a long heritage of supporting the institutions and values that have made America so strong,” it wrote. “That includes our armed forces and the national anthem as well as diversity, equality and freedom of speech. We proudly employ over 1,100 military veterans and we work every day to create an inclusive environment for all of our employees. Because only together can we achieve our dream of bringing people together for a better world.”

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