A Facebook Page calling for a very specific boycott of the NFL is gathering steam. The page is asking people across America to boycott watching, or attending, NFL games on Veteran's Day Weekend unless protests during the anthem cease.
"Until millionaire football players stop protesting the National Anthem of the United States, we'll be here," says the page. "We love football, but we love our flag more."
At time of writing the page had 124,908 people following the page and 121,384 that had liked the page.
Veteran's Day, November 11th, falls on a Saturday this year so the group is asking people to shun the NFL on Sunday, November 12th and for the Monday Night Football game on the 13th.
With NFL ratings sliding, owners have spent the last few weeks nervous about the impact of player protests on revenues - both at the stadium gate and on TV - as fans tune out. ESPN reported last week that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called DeMaurice Smith, president of the NFL Player's Association, to try and broker a deal to end the protests. Smith's response?
"I don't have the power to tell our players what to do," Smith said.
But owners are clearly worried and expressed that to Smith through Goodell.
"It certainly was my takeaway that the commissioner was looking for a way for the protests to end," Smith said. "Knowing the league the way I know the league, they are first and foremost concerned about the impact on their business."
Now with this new boycott being attached to Veteran's Day, and the feeling by many Americans that kneeling during the national anthem is an affront to the military, owners are even more nervous.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently told players they would be benched if they disrespected the flag:
"I know this, we cannot ... in the NFL in any way give the implication that we tolerate disrespecting the flag," he said following the Cowboys’ 35-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers. "We know that there is a serious debate in this country about those issues, but there is no question in my mind that the National Football League and the Dallas Cowboys are going to stand up for the flag. So we're clear."
Jones made the comments to the media on Sunday after Vice-President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game when players with the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem.