You may have heard: There was much ado about the national anthem at NFL games over the weekend. After President Trump attacked Colin Kaepernick for taking a knee during the national anthem last year in order to protest police brutality, a whole slew of other NFL players decided to follow suit in a show of solidarity and protest. This included members of the New Orleans Saints, who were in turn protested by a local cafe. But WOW Cafe & Wingery, which is located near New Orleans, quickly learned that their objection to peaceful protest against police violence towards people of color would not endear them to much of the public.
To express their displeasure with the Saints players who opted not to stand for the national anthem before their game against the North Carolina Panthers on Sunday, WOW Cafe & Wingery announced they would not be showing Saints games. The restaurant posted to its Facebook page on Sunday: “I apologize to all of our guests but we will not be viewing the Saints game today in house. Some of our local players chose to sit during the National Anthem, which will not be supported or praised at WOW. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you.” WOW’s protest of the players’ protest did not go over well on Yelp.
Yelpers quickly posted one-star reviews of the restaurant, calling them out for criticizing the Saints’ players who sat out the national anthem. One woman gave WOW one star and wrote, “This company supports injustices and the killing of innocent black men! I will never support WOW. I hope you go out of business.” Others went in on the restaurant’s food, calling the wings “bland” and asking, “Who mixes politics with wings?” WOW’s Yelp page does have some positive reviews, but even before they made a statement against the Saints players who engaged in peaceful protest, there were plenty of complaints about food and service quality.
WOW’s owner and at least one of its employees defended the restaurant’s decision not play games when Saints players sit out the anthem, arguing that the protest is “disrespectful” to the military, police, and firefighters. Kaepernick has always been crystal clear that his protest is about the oppression of black people, and WOW’s plan to take their own stand seems only to be to their own detriment.