LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Bar owner, football fan, and military veteran. When it comes to protesting the National Anthem, Jason Rieth has an outlook like few others.
"It makes me mad, but I think you have to think about the underlying thing. We fight for freedom. You go in to the military to fight for freedom for America, and that's what they're exercising," Rieth explained.
He recognizes it's their right to protest but says he doesn't have to agree.
"You taunt another player, it's a penalty," Rieth added, "but you can disrespect the very thing that allows you to play that sport for millions of dollars, it doesn't make sense to me."
What does make sense to him is football- plain and simple. Which is why he's choosing to air the games in his bar, Uriah's in Liverpool, no matter how long the protesting continues.
"For the most part, people want to watch football," Rieth said. "They want these guys to come out on the field, get warmed up, and play a real tough game of football."
When those games are accompanied by protests, though, he says it's a divide that reaches beyond the NFL.
"It's not just about the football players. There's a lot of people complaining right now about what the football players are doing, that don't pay attention to the National Anthem when it's on." the bar owner added.
But he said he pays attention, every time because he, "wouldn't want to live in a lot of other countries. I like being here."
Though Rieth has chosen to continue airing the NFL in his bar, not all Central New York bar owners are doing the same.
A sign posted outside of Borio's Restaurant in Ciceron said they will not be carrying the professional football games until the protesting is over. A neighboring bar, Cooper's Landing, is sharing a similar message on their Facebook page.
We reached out to both Borio's and Cooper's Landing. Borio's is closed on Monday's and Cooper's Landing was not willing to comment.
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