Business owner, a Marine vet, removes NFL merchandise from stores
Posted September 28
ASHEVILLE, N.C — While NFL players across the county took a knee during the national anthem, local business owner Matthew Stanley took a stand against the NFL.
"I was a NFL fan until all this started happening, and I couldn't watch it anymore," said Matthew Stanley, a U.S. Marine veteran.
Stanley was deployed overseas twice. He has been through countless battles and even lost a good friend, Sgt. Kenneth Conde Jr., in Iraq. He said this country, the flag and the anthem means everything to him.
" It's freedom, patriotism and millions of Americans who have fought to preserve our freedom," Stanley said.
Yesterday, he decided to pull all NFL logo merchandise from his three convenience stores.
"Whether it's product or signs, anything that has the NFL logo on it, we will be removing from our stores and will not sell it until further notice," Stanley said.
Stanley said he understands there is racial injustice happening in our country, and he is not opposed to protest. He has fought for that right, but he said it's the way the players are protesting that is disappointing.
"I fought for their right to freedom and speech, and, again, there is a time and a place. There has got to be a better way than taking a knee during our national anthem. There is a better way to handle this. Talk to you local law enforcement, talk to your politicians," Stanley said.
Neon NFL signs that use hang in the stores and NFL merchandise are in the trash.
"My belief in my country far outweigh profits," Stanley said.
"It ( the national anthem) stands for more than just a race or a religion. Were are not just black, white, Christian, Muslim. We are Americans. We need to come together as Americans and figure out this problem."