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Jeweler Pulls NFL Ads Over National Anthem Controversy

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The founder views ‘taking a knee’ as disrespectful.

Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers, a store in St. Petersburg, FL, is discontinuing its Monday Night Football ads because it views the decision by some players to kneel during the National Anthem as disrespectful.

In a post on its Facebook page, the store wrote: “Diamonds Direct Founder and CEO Gary Sanchez, USCG Veteran (and football fan), would like to announce to our competitors that there will be open commercial spots during Monday Night Football as we will not be purchasing advertisements during any NFL games until the organization respects the flag and anthem.”

The post continued: “We 100% support the right to protest and the fight against injustices in our nation, but we do not at all support disrespecting the American flag and national anthem in the process.”

The Sept. 25 post features an old photo of Sanchez in his Coast Guard uniform and holding a gun. So far it has garnered more than 4,000 reactions as well as 1,300 shares and 409 comments.

The St. Petersburg store is not related to Charlotte, NC-based Diamonds Direct, a national chain.

In a trend led by Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers, many NFL players have been kneeling to protest mistreatment of black Americans by police. President Donald Trump has criticized the players’ actions as unpatriotic.

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