IN Focus: How will NFL teams, fans react this weekend?

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INDIANAPOLIS —Politics and football are meshing together once again in the wake of President Donald Trump’s visit to Indianapolis Wednesday.

Players across the league, including Colts team members, took a knee during the national anthem Sunday after Trump called for the firing of NFL players who do so.

On his way to Indianapolis, Trump called out the NFL again.

“The NFL is in a very bad box. You cannot have people disrespecting our national anthem, our flag, our country and that’s what they’re doing. And in my opinion the NFL has to change or you know what’s gonna happen their business is going to go to hell,” Trump said to reporters.

But what impact could it all have on the NFL?

Bill Rieber, an economics professor at Butler University, said he doesn’t think the organization will feel an economic one, though individual players and teams potentially could.

“There’s a potential if the feeling is that these activities in pregame somehow is a distraction on the field and hurting the team’s performance, those particular teams have a possibility of being impacted” he said.

Some local businesses are raising their own concerns about the impact.

Main Event on 96th  in Fishers posted on Facebook it would not show NFL games this weekend, citing “…recent issues regarding our National Anthem and NFL.”

The restaurant wrote in part in the social media post, “While we respect those persons’ rights to demonstrate their feelings over social issues, we also feel strongly that they detract from the game of football and put a polarizing and negative mark on the game.”

According to the Facebook post, the restaurant plans to raise money Sunday for a family impacted by recent hurricanes instead.

Meanwhile, the owner of Traders Mill Grill & Bar said he’s concerned about the impact on his business, though he plans to continue showing games.

“We do a lot of things here besides sports, good food, good service, good environment but I am leveraging the NFL as well. I’ve got a nice facility to watch games, and we’ve got NFL Sunday ticket, so we really want people to be able to come in here and watch those games and if they’re not as interested because of maybe what’s going on politically then that does affect me,” owner Ron Watson said.

Some fans who spoke with FOX59 said they plan to keep watching games, though.

“I’m gonna keep watching, football makes me happy and on Sundays that’s what I look forward to,” Jon Byerly said. “There’s a lot going on in the world but at the end of the day if it makes you happy watching it you gotta do it.”

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