Respect Anthem, Letter To
Teams Owners, NFL Advises
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Until the NFL and team owners prevent players from “taking a knee” during the National Anthem, pro football will not be shown in the Cooperstown Vets Club on Main Street, Commander John Famulare said this afternoon.
The decision was made unanimously, 8-0, when the club’s directors were polled at their latest meeting last Monday. It may be the first such decision by any post nationwide.
“When they play the National Anthem,” said Famulare, “you better stand up, period.” He said the ban will remain in place “until the players start acting like men” and show respect for the National Anthem.
The commander said the club – it includes both the VFW and American Legion – has written letters to the National Football League and owners of NFL teams alerting them to their decision.
Famulare said players should be required to stand for the National Anthem, hold their helmets in their left hands, and put their right hands over their hearts.
Famulare praised Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for “taking a knee” and holding hands with players, then all of them standing at attention during the National Anthem Sept. 25 at the Arizona Cardinals Game in Phoenix.
As to the other owners, “Why aren’t they doing anything?” he asked during an interview this afternoon at the bar in the basement of 60 Main St. Football was on TV, but it was college ball.
Sitting next to Famulare, Mike Boyson, past commander, said since “taking the knee” has not spread to college ball, post members will certainly watch the Army-Navy game and other college-level games, but not pro ball.
Famulare said there has been an impact, with some members staying home to watch Thursday night football, but the post is willing to take the hit.
While the Veterans of Foreign Wars issued what was termed a “blistering” condemnation after 200 NFL players “took a knee” on Sept. 25, this may be the first time a veterans organization has taken such a step.