TROY, N.Y. — A pair of Army veterans pushed back in their own way Sunday, against this season's controversial NFL protests during the national anthem: they just didn't watch the NFL.
And neither did a few dozen patrons at their local pub.
Mark Stevens and Mark Miron are the co-owners of Park Pub, a bar and restaurant located on the Frear Park Golf Course. The two men graduated La Salle Academy together, and they also enlisted in the U.S. Army together in 1975. Stevens worked in food services before serving a tour in Iraq; Minor was involved in the Army's chemical team.
Both have watched as their Army friends died or committed suicide, due to the high mental and physical costs of warfare and military service. Thus, each of them was disappointed by this year's protests in the NFL, wherein dozens of players took a knee during the national anthem, in front of a waving American flag.
So their bar did not show any NFL football on Sunday, in a show of protest against the players' protest. The boycott was specially timed for Veterans Day weekend, part of a larger, similar movement across the country.
“I was really upset," Stevens explained Sunday. “They're doing this at their job, and they shouldn’t be doing it."
“We have such a vested interest in the military, in the country, and in what we believe," said Miron. "[The players] must feel the same way, but if they have the right to do that, we have the right to do this.”
Stevens said his employees had no problem with the NFL boycott, and no bar patrons complained. There were no counter-protests on the grounds of Park Pub on Sunday.
Next week, Park Pub will resume its normal NFL television schedule.