Leominster bar owner says he won’t air NFL games following national anthem protests

Several New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem before Sunday's game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough.

A Leominster bar owner says he won’t air NFL games after at least 100 players, including some from the New England Patriots, knelt during the national anthem over the weekend.

“These players want to jam it down our throat. If they want to protest, that’s fine, let them protest. Protest like everybody else does — on their own time, not at work when they’re supposed to be basically entertaining us,” Mike Cooley, owner of The Monument Tap, told WHDH.

A statement on the restaurant’s website and Facebook page says the Patriots and NFL “decided to ‘take a knee’ and insult our Veterans and our country”


Instead of showing games this Sunday, the restaurant will feature live patriotic music and provide free food.


“We’re taking a point as Americans that we’re proud of our country and we don’t really care about the NFL,” Cooley said to WHDH.

The news station reported the bar’s NFL ban will last for the “foreseeable future.”