Madeira Beach American Legion won’t show NFL games to protest

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (WFLA) — There will be no NFL games on TVs at a Tampa Bay area American Legion post. 

That includes the Bucs.

On this Veterans Day weekend, Post 273 in Madeira Beach is taking a stand against kneeling during the national anthem.

Almost 5,000 veterans belong to the American Legion Post 273.

When families are included, their number swells to just under 8,000.

“The place is loaded every Sunday to watch football,” said Commander Jim White.

But not this Veterans Day weekend.

“Celebration of the veterans. We’re gonna boycott the NFL because of what they’re doing to the veterans organization,” said Commander White.

The veterans have a major issue with players who kneel when the national anthem is played.

“For people who really understand the meaning, the true meaning of Veterans Day, the lives that were sacrificed, and the guys that still continue to fight so that these guys have the freedom to kneel, out of respect for that, there will be no NFL shown this weekend in Post 273,” said Mike Haygood.

On all the post’s TVs, the NFL will be banned.

“No sports channels. The only thing you’ll see on that TV [is] the marathon of M*A*S*H and [the] American History Channel. That will be it,” said Commander White.

The post commander is prepared to take some grief over the decision.

“I’m going to stand by my word. I made a decision Tuesday and I’ll stand by it,” he said.

At this post, members stand at attention for “God Bless America.”

They won’t stand for kneeling.

“We announced early on this week we would not be showing the NFL this Sunday, and we got a round of applause,” said Mike Haygood.

As for future NFL games on Sundays, that will be up to the membership.

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