Steve Kalafer, owner of a New Jersey car dealership, revealed Tuesday that the company's decision to pull its ads from running during NFL games is in response to the players' national anthem protests.
What did he say?
Kalafer, owner of Flemington Car and Truck Country in Hunterdon County, revealed that his company pulled ads from NFL game broadcasts on local networks because of the way the league has handled the national anthem protests.
In a statement provided to NJ.com, Kalafer said:
"The National Football League and its owners have shown their fans and marketing partners that they do not have a comprehensive policy to ensure that players stand and show respect for America and our flag during the playing of the national anthem. We have cancelled all of our NFL advertising on the Optimum and Infinity (cable) networks."
Kalafer said that the majority of those with whom he's spoken were displeased with "lack of direction" within the NFL.
"I'm talking to 99 percent of [my] contacts, and they agree that it's disrespectful, it's improper," he said. "We couldn't support the lack of direction."
Kalafer also spoke to MyCentralJersey.com, where he addressed freedom of expression and national respect.
"The owners and the NFL have created a conflict where one doesn't need to be," Kalafer said. "Freedom of expression, social justice and working together as a team is what we stand for, but respect is most important."
Kalafer said that he encourages a "peaceful protest" as well as "real, honest discussion" about issues of "social justice" in the U.S., but believes there has been a lack of direction within the NFL as to how the players should use their voices.
"If they had given clear direction from the beginning, this would not be the issue it has become," he said. "We are missing the opportunity to have some meaningful dialogue and go forward."
The dealership owner was adamant, however, that he did not take issue with what the players were protesting against.
"I hurt for America," Kalafer said. "We want it to do better."
However, he added, "it is a given that you stand and remove your cap and pay attention as the anthem is played."
"We are taught as children to respect all of those who have made great sacrifices for our country," Kalafer said.