Over the last couple of years, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Strongsville 3345 post has been accustomed to fairly large gatherings for Cleveland Browns games.
Well, that is changing and it’s not because the team is bad.
After multiple members of the Browns roster opted to take a knee during the national anthem prior to the team’s preseason game vs New York Giants, VFW Strongsville 3345 decided to take a stand against it’s hometown team.
Earlier this week, this post announced a new policy:
“We like our Browns – we love our flag more,” the sign reads. “Your games will no longer be shown here. God bless America.”
The sing was posted on Facebook and has since gone viral, having been shared more than 1,000 times.
Tim Zvoncheck, the commander of VFW Post 3345 told WKYC:
“We understand that everybody has the right to free speech. Everybody has a right to their specific feelings. But we don’t feel they have the right to disrespect… we’re not going to stand for this anymore.”
National anthem protests have been a controversial issue dating back to now-former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem throughout the 2016 season in an effort to bring attention to racial injustice in America.
While Kaepernick undeservingly has been unemployed, several other players have taken up this cause this preseason, including Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett.
The Browns’ player protest, however, was the largest protest by a single team in the NFL and came a week after Browns coach Hue Jackson stated that he hoped his players wouldn’t take part in such demonstrations.
Browns tight end Seth Devalve, who became the first white NFL player to kneel during the anthem said it wasn’t his nor his teammates intentions to disrespect the military with the protest, in which they knelt in a prayer.
“I personally would like to say that I love this country, I love our national anthem, I am very grateful for the men and women who have given their lives and give a lot every day to protect this country and to service this country. I want to honor them as much as I can. The United States is the greatest country in the world, and it is because it provides opportunities to its citizens that no other country does, the issue is that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody. I want to support my teammates today who wanted to take a knee.”
One has to wonder what Zvoncheck’s reaction was when news broke that all 32 NFL owners were paid by the military to honor the men in women who serve this country.