BOTKINS — Taking a stand against not standing proved to get enthusiastic backing in Botkins, Sunday and Monday.
When a Facebook page urging a boycott of National Football League games during the recent Veterans Day weekend began to gain traction, the owner and manager of Meyer’s Tavern in Botkins joined the campaign.
“We were talking about it,” said Manager Josh Meyer of a discussion he had with his dad, owner Bob Meyer. “We thought we ought to do something like that.”
The boycott was in answer to NFL players who have been kneeling rather than standing during the national anthem that opens their games.
The Meyers published on social media and put signs up in the tavern announcing that no NFL games would be on televisions there, Sunday, Nov. 12, or Monday, Nov. 13. They didn’t know how much business they might lose, but taking a stand was worth it, they decided.
They needn’t have worried. A much larger-than-usual crowd showed up on both days.
“It was a lot more busy (Sunday). I was surprised by the number,” Josh Meyer said. “I was very pleased with the group who supported us.”
On Tuesday, he was happy about Monday’s attendance, too.
“We had quadruple the amount of people there,” he said.
The Sunday crowd watched NASCAR races, NHR drag racing and sprint car contests instead of football.
“We watched ‘American Pickers’ on Monday,” Meyer said.
Andrea Metz, of Botkins, was there with her family for dinner, Sunday. They visited the tavern specifically because the boycott was in play.
“A typical Sunday is usually spent going to church in the morning, various sporting event for my kids, 4H meetings or just staying at home and relaxing. The NFL has been a topic of conversation at our house for several weeks. I have two sons, 17 and 12, that love football, but even they lost interest in watching the games once all the kneeling started happening,” she said. “We have always taught our kids to respect the flag, and the flag is the symbol of our freedom. Going to Meyers on Sunday and supporting a business with those same values just seemed like the right thing to do.”
Metz was there with her husband and one son. They met friends there.
“Meyers is always supportive of the community whether it be local sports, benefits and fundraisers or something as simple as turning off football games to let their patrons who are veterans know that they respect them,” Metz said.
Meyer noted that on Sunday, the tavern sold more chicken wings that it usually does on its popular Wednesday wing nights.
And no one in the crowd seemed to be checking a cell phone for football scores, he noticed.
“There wasn’t any football talk at all,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.