PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) – One Phenix City business owner is not taking the NFL national anthem protests lightly.
Mike Phaneuf owns Glory Days Bar off Highway 280 in Phenix City. For years, he's shown Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football on his TV screens., but this week he said that tradition was over.
"I said, 'Mike, put your money where your mouth is.' If it's so important for you to take a stand, then that way, you can't be saying one thing and doing another. That's why I said, 'Well, we're not going to watch NFL football anymore at Glory Day," says Phaneuf.
Phaneuf served as an Army Ranger in Desert Storm. He says he agrees with the player's message about addressing racial injustice and inequality. His disagreement— that doing it while the national anthem is sung is the wrong place and time.
"It doesn't need to happen during the national anthem, it needs to happen in America that we can come together but the time to come together is while we're standing in unison for the national anthem supporting our troops, the ones that have fought for us, the ones that have fallen and we need to come together in that time and then also work on the issues that we have in America," said Phaneuf.
Phaneuf says his boycott will last until all teams and players stand for the anthem.
"Don't take a knee, don't sit, don't hide in the locker room- that's taking a political stance thereby not showing up. Don't necessarily need to put your hand on your heart, you can be arm-in-arm with your brothers, but you should stand," says Phaneuf.
He says he agrees with the protests that a conversation needs to happen, he just wants that conversation to stop during the national anthem.