A major auto and truck dealership in New Jersey has pulled its ads from NFL broadcasts in response to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.
Steve Kalafer, owner of Flemington Car and Truck Country, stated:
The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem. We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity (cable) networks.
Kalafer said his employees were unhappy with the supine position of the NFL owners regarding the kneeling; he explained, “I’m talking to 99-percent of (my) contacts, and they agree that it’s disrespectful, it’s improper. We couldn’t support the lack of direction.” He continued, “Owners buried their heads in the sand when Kaepernick was kneeling. That was the time and place for direction and leadership, and that’s why this controversy is taking place,”
Kalafer is also a part-owner of the Somerset Patriots, an independent professional baseball team based in Somerset County. He added, “As the NFL parses the important nationwide issues of ‘social justice’ and ‘freedom of speech,’ it is clear that a firm direction by them is not forthcoming.”
Kalafer said no decision had been made vis-à-vis the 2018 NFL season.
Kalafer felt owners were afraid of losing a game if they suspended a player. He opined that players and teams should center on helping their communities rather than protest on national television in front of veterans, police and other first-responders, asserting, “Everyone should be involved in true social justice to make sure we’re looking at our communities and seeing how we can make them better, fairer and more equitable.”
Kalafer said his players didn’t act in the fashion NFL players have because the team’s ownership “made sure there was nothing that was unclear. … We’re not in a movie, we are not in a documentary, we are in life every day. In order to do that, we have to participate every day, not just in a protest everyone debates. Let’s not debate, let’s be active every day.”
Reaction to Kalafer’s statement appeared to be mixed, as NJ.com reported: “Opinions are split almost evenly among the over 500 comments left on Facebook and over 400 comments on the article posted on NJ.com.”