The national anthem protests in the NFL have effectively damaged not only the brand but the sport of football itself. One sheriff’s department turned the screws even further on the Ford Motor Company for its support for the NFL and its protesting athletes.
After a statement in September from the automotive giant that essentially lent support to the protesting athletes, Julian Whittington, the Sheriff of Bossier Parish, Louisiana, sent out a Facebook message saying that his department would no longer purchase any more Ford vehicles for its officers, according to Independent Journal Review.
Ford’s original message read: “We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great.”
In response, Sheriff Whittington took a stand for the flag and for patriotism.
“The recent events surrounding the NFL, its players and their audacity to thumb their collective noses at the American flag, the American military as well as the obvious disdain for the profession of law enforcement in general forces me to take a stand,” the sheriff wrote on Facebook.
“NFL players have the right to protest as they deem necessary, but we, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and the taxpayers of Bossier Parish have a right to spend our money elsewhere.”
Sheriff Whittington also wrote a letter to Hixson Ford in Alexandria, Louisiana. Prior to the controversy, Hixson Ford had been the department’s main supplier of vehicles. Owner Dallas Hixson has called Ford’s stance on the matter “concerning,” and has said that he plans on taking up the matter with corporate headquarters.
According to the Shreveport Times, during the fiscal year of 2016-2017, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office spent $747,000 on vehicle purchases. This included twenty-one Ford Police Interceptors, four Ford Tauruses, one Ford F-150, one Ford Explorer, and two Ford F-250s.
Sheriff Whittington would like to see his boycott copied by other sheriffs in Louisiana and across the country. So far, Sheriff Whittington has sent his letter of protest to sixty-three different sheriffs.
The push-back against the NFL for the national anthem protests has already cost the organization millions in ad revenue. Viewership is down over ten percent, as many Americans have decided that anti-American protests by well-paid athletes are not worth their respect or time.
Police department will no longer purchase any more Ford vehicles for its officers because Ford supports NFL. Is anyone doing business with anyone these days?
Last night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Carolina Panthers drew a disappointing 10.6/18 in metered-market results. This is a five percent decrease from the previous Thursday night match-up between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And while many of the NFL’s key sponsors have decided to stick with the football giant, many local companies and franchises have decided to boycott the NFL anyway. After Denver Broncos players decided to take a knee during the national anthem, Phil Long Ford in Denver pulled all advertisements featuring Broncos player Von Miller. Brandon Marshall, another protesting member of the Broncos, also lost sponsorship deals because of his actions.
While many Americans still consider Sunday football a quasi-religion, some are starting to question their support for an organization and players who show contempt for the American flag. The Bossier Parish sheriff is certainly not the first to boycott the NFL, and certainly will not be the last.