UPDATE: Hixson restaurant opts to show pictures of military over - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Hixson restaurant opts to show pictures of military over NFL games

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HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A Chattanooga business owner is taking a stand against the NFL, in response to players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

Two weeks after a change in management and Baxter's is already making a bold statement by not supporting the "take a knee movement" from the NFL during the national anthem. 

Matthew Wolcott comes from a family full of military members.

He says it's his duty to honor every solider, not just those he's related to.

“It made me feel good because that first day was nerve wracking because I told my wife I don’t know how the community will respond but this is the conviction I have in my heart,” said Matthew Wolcott. “I don’t want people to forget the sacrifices that were made for our freedom.”

Wolcott explained on Facebook that his business will not be airing any NFL games.

Instead this sports bar is showing pictures of soldiers, including Chattanooga’s Fallen Five.

“I've got calls from California to New York and there's been a couple that will call and give us a hard time for not showing the NFL and there's a lot that are with us,” said Matthew Wolcott.

Wolcott says because he's only been open for two weeks he doesn't have numbers to compare the difference in business since the announcement.

The Reyes family agrees with the move. They say they support the players statement, just not when they are choosing to make it.

“They have to be on the field they have to stand with their right hand on their chest and their left hand holding their helmets,” said Matthew Wolcott.  “That’s in their rule books so really if you're not following the rules you should be punished.”

Some aren't as happy about Baxter's decision and have called to threaten the business.

“I invited him down here because we don’t need conflict this is not a race thing,” said Matthew Wolcott.  “I invited him to sit down and talk.”

“A lot of people have presumed that the flag represents our president that's not the cause the flag represents us,” said Matthew Wolcott.

Wolcott says if college players also begin taking a knee during the national anthem those games will be banned from the business too.

Wolcott plans to keep the NFL ban in place as long as players kneel.


PREVIOUS STORY: NFL games will not be shown at Baxter's Family Food and Fun, according to owner, Matthew Wolcott. 

Wolcott took over operations of the Hixson restaurant two weeks ago. The restaurant has not been open on Monday's since then, but Wolcott had planned to make an exception for Monday Night Football next week. However, Wolcott changed his mind after NFL athletes kneeled during the National Anthem over the weekend. Monday, he told customers through the restaurant's Facebook account, that games NFL games will not be shown while the protests continue on the field. 

Here's what was was posted on the restaurant's Facebook page: 

"We might lose some clients over this but I feel that it’s the right thing to do. Until the NFL comes to its senses on this National Anthem tragedy, we will no longer be showing NFL games at our restaurant. You can still view the college games on Saturday, and we will still be open on Sundays. But my grandfathers fought for our country for that symbol. They lost friends and brothers. My father served under that flag. My grandfather was awarded the Purple Heart with that flag flying high!! And I will not allow anyone to prosper hiding behind the very freedom it created!! So until further notice, we will not be showing the NFL games."

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, President Trump said NFL players who kneel or otherwise take part in protests during the national anthem prior to games should be fired. He later added on Twitter that players  "should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!" 

READ MORE | President Trump says protesting players in NFL should be fired

Last year, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Though, he is not currently employed by the NFL, other players have carried out his mission to shed light on the injustices in our country.

Following President Trump's speech and numerous Twitter posts, more players and coaches took part in the protest by kneeling, standing with arms locked, or both. 

According to Title 36 (section 171) of the United States Code, “all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.” However, there is no actual penalty listed for not standing or choosing to kneel. 

"They're not going to stand up until they feel something has changed we're just not going to show it until we know something has changed. It was a hard decision to come to because we just bought this place and that's exactly the thought process that we had behind it; to watch football games and have a great time with family, eat nachos and all the stuff that's bad for you and now we decided you know we're not gonna do it," said Wolcott. 

Wolcott says he doesn't agree with President's Trump's delivery, but he does believe those who protest the anthem are disrespecting the men and women who fought in war.

"Let's not put it as a presidential symbol. Let's not put it as a symbol of hate. Let's put it as a symbol of the people that are working towards a goal you know and that's what we're all working towards; we are working towards peace," said Wolcott. "This is not a Band-Aid. This is not a healing remedy. This is something that's going to just re-gouge different aggressiveness in our culture that we've created." 

Whether players stand or kneel, Wolcott says he understands the fight for equality will continue. 

"I'm going to do both. I stand during the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem and I kneel at night for the country, because we need more prayer now than ever." 

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