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Meagher County bar refuses to air NFL games amid National Anthem - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Meagher County bar refuses to air NFL games amid National Anthem kneeling controversy

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RINGLING - The owner of the Ringling Bar, located south of White Sulphur Springs, is standing behind his Facebook post that criticizes NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

The post was made on the Ringling Bar’s Facebook page Tuesday night and has since received hundreds of comments and shares.

The post reads: “The Ringling Bar will no longer show any NFL games. This will allow us to air the PBR, Rodeo and NASCAR events whose competitors are true Americans! Sorry for any inconvenience.”

As of Wednesday morning, a majority of the comments were in support of the bar.

“We all love ya for this, I'll be by with as many people I can round up!!” said one commenter.

Another person was critical, writing: “Ha Ha of course NASCAR is not protesting the treatment of minority's because they don't care about them!!!”

Ringling Bar Co-owner Kurt Bekemans, who grew up in the Paradise Valley, published the post and said he doesn’t care if the post turns some customers away.

“Seriously, I would not care if non-Americans didn’t patronize the place,” said Bekemans. “I’d like to speak for rural America: I bet you wouldn’t see any farmers or ranchers in our whole country take a knee such as these guys do, I bet you couldn’t find one. They appreciate what our great nation has given them and I think that’s the least you could do to give thanks to our country is stand for the flag and the anthem.”

Bekemans said he made the post because he’s tired of the NFL controversy and he believes the protest is a sign of disrespect for American veterans.

“I’ve been getting frustrated over it. I just can’t believe that these athletes are using the national stage to do their protest,” said Bekemans. “Basically, they’re an employee, they’re on the job and it’s not the time to do it. There’s no country in the world that provides athletes the opportunity that the U.S. does.”

Beckemans said he has not received any calls about the post and the issue has stayed on Facebook.

But he would stand by his statements online or otherwise.

“I don’t respect their beliefs,” said Bekemans. “This is my opinion.”

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