A regional airport wants to protest incoming Super Bowl flights because of the kneeling controversy. (Reuters)
An airport in Brainerd, MN, spoke out on Thursday against the NFL and the potential of incoming air travel for Super Bowl LII, to be held in Minneapolis, MN next year.
Brainerd Lakes Regional airport was meeting to discuss the increased Super Bowl air travel expected into and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
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With the increased air traffic, a plan was needed for if flights had to be rerouted for inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Brainerd Lakes Regional airport was listed as one of the nearby airports that could receive the redirected planes.
At the meeting, commission member Jeff Czeczok made a motion to protest these flights that may come into Brainerd until the NFL enforces its rule requiring players to stand during the national anthem before games.
Nearly all commission members agreed with Czeczok’s statements, but the motion failed for lack of a second, the Duluth News Tribune reports.
Czeczok, who says he is disgusting by what he sees happening in the NFL, called for defense of the national anthem.
“I just would like to remind the people sitting at this table that, you know, we have a national organization that has team members kneeling down during our national anthem,” Czeczok said.
Commission member Marty Johnson said he agreed. Johnson says he doesn’t have a problem with protesting, just not during the national anthem.
Johnson continued, claiming sponsors are pulling their support from the NFL and that players are taking advantage of the media attention.
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“As long as the film crews and the media keep spotlighting the fact that this guy didn’t stand and this guy didn’t stand, they’re going to keep doing it,” Johnson said. “The media is the problem.”
NFL players are encouraged to stand for the national anthem, but there is no rule requiring them to according to the 2017 official NFL rulebook.
As of September, no NFL sponsors have ended their relationship with the NFL. Only a few advertisers have pulled broadcasts out of the NFL – all but one of them were local advertisers.