BUENA PARK (CBSLA) — Head south on the 5 Freeway near Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and you will see an electronic billboard asking you to turn off your TV and boycott the National Football League.
Fred Denny is the Orange County businessman behind it.
“The league has kinda condoned this distraction during the anthem and the flag,” said Denny.
Denny is paying for the ad that reads “Shame on the NFL.”
He says it’s the league that’s allowed players to disrespect the national anthem and the American flag by kneeling during the pre-game tradition.
“A lot of people look at the anthem and the flag as something almost sacred,” said Denny. “And to have something going on at that time seems to be the wrong time and the wrong place.”
“I don’t agree with it. I think even the people that are kneeling are still showing their respect,” said Madison Hansen of Buena Park. “Their eyes are on the flag. It’s not like they’re texting or doing things like that.”
It was former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who first took a knee last year to demonstrate against police brutality against minorities.
The debate got more heated this year after President Trump and Vice President Pence took a stand against the protests.
Riverside County resident Christopher Phelps sides with the athletes.
“You don’t have to agree with why they’re doing it but you have to agree they have the right to do what they’re doing,” said Phelps.
Denny says he’s been getting mostly positive feedback on his campaign, which started earlier this month with a billboard in South Gate.
The Buena Park one went up this weekend.
He acknowledges life isn’t fair for everyone in the United States and he believes we all need to work toward equality.
“I think we should deal with our shortcomings. Our weak links. Roll up our sleeves. Get down to business and fix our injustices,” said Denny.