Eagles don’t fly at Post 1463

By on February 7, 2018

Lititz VFW sticks to season-long NFL boycott

When the Eagles beat the Patriots 41-33 in Sunday’s Super Bowl, not everyone was watching in Lititz.

At the Lititz Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1463, a small crowd was watching NHL hockey as the Montreal Canadiens outscored the Ottawa Senators 4-1.

Despite the strong local interest in one of the biggest sports moments in Philadelphia history, the Lititz VFW decided to stick with its boycott of the NFL, which meant not airing any football games during the season. Even the Super Bowl.

The boycott began back in September, following comments by President Donald Trump regarding some NFL players who kneeled instead of standing for the National Anthem. Those players were part of a silent protest against racial inequality.

At the time the NFL stated that “players are encouraged, but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.” For the VFW, the players who took a knee showed disrespect for the American flag. Many posts, including Lititz’s Post 1463, began to boycott the NFL.

Instead of football games on the post’s TV screens, other sports and shows were aired in the hall over the past five months. Then the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl.

“We needed to stick to our policy, so there will be no Super Bowl at Lititz VFW Post 1463,” said Quartermaster Wade Hall, who admitted that he isn’t a die-hard football fan himself.

Hall was quick to point out that many of the post members are big Eagles fans, and that the protest was not against the Eagles in any way.

Even though kneeling protests have pretty much faded away in recent months, the Lititz VFW maintained that it was important to stick to the original boycott to make its point.

“Some of the other VFW posts are airing the Super Bowl, but we stand firm against giving in. Usually we do have a Super Bowl party, but not this year. We’ll have to see about next year,” said Hall.

During the big game Sunday night, there were no kneeling protests from either team. In December, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reported that nearly $90 million was being donated to social justice causes supported by some of the players who were protesting.

According to Robert Klein, the Lititz VFW’s junior vice commander, membership at the post is up 14 percent, despite the boycott. While some members worried that the post might lose business, Klein maintained, “We felt that it somewhat disrespected veterans who fought for the flag.”

“This is not against the Eagles,” Hall reiterated. “Anyone who really wanted to see the Super Bowl just couldn’t watch it here.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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