Rodney Heard, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and an avid football fan and season-ticket holder, has expressed his displeasure with those Indianapolis Colts players who took a knee during the national anthem last Sunday.
He burned $4,000 worth of Colts' season tickets that he had already paid for and uploaded the video to Facebook.
From a military family, Heard explained that the players' protest disrespected those who have fought and died for the U.S. flag. He added that he considered either selling or giving away the tickets, but as a matter of principle, he decided that it was more important to send a message by letting the seats at Lucas Oil Stadium remain empty for the rest of the season.
While kneeling during the anthem has gained currency throughout the NFL, and in the entertainment industry, after President Trump criticized the players for their on-field activism, America, in general, may feel differently. Fans, or former fans, have uploaded videos to social media depicting them burning team jerseys as a counter-protest, for example. Bloomberg and other news agencies are reporting that that DirectTV customers also want to be heard, as it were, by canceling NFL Sunday Ticket, which ordinarily abides by a no-cancellation policy.
And a national survey by Kansas City-based Remington Research Group of about 2,000 voters claims that America is on Trump's side. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the public opinion poll indicated that NFL players should stand while the national anthem is being played as part of pre-game ceremonies.
Against this backdrop, NFL TV ratings are said to be down 11 percent this season.
In an appearance with Stuart Varney of Varney & Co. on the Fox Business Network, Rodney Heard explained that he was at the game on Sunday in Indianapolis and became angry when about 10 Colts' players kneeled during the anthem, so much so that left the stadium early. He also noted that the protest was not well received by the other fans present.
"Thousands of people died for our freedom, and I don't think it's too much to ask for people to stand up and honor those that died so we can have that freedom...most everyone booed; it's offensive to most Americans...I've always loved the Colts, loved the NFL, always respected those athletes...I think they should do the same to respect the people who have died to give them that freedom."