BRAINERD, Minn- During a Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport (BLRA) Commissioners meeting on October 5, there were calls for the airport to ‘protest’ the 2018 Super Bowl.
In an interview with Alpha News, Jeff Czeczok, the commissioner who pushed for the process explained his reasoning behind calling for the ‘protest.’
“We all live in a community with close connections to many servicemen that died in the Bataan Death March during WWII along with a great deal of veterans,and I personally believe it is the highest form of disrespect to kneel during the Anthem because of all those individuals that have fought and died for our Flag,” Czeczok said. “By definition: kneeling during the National Anthem is a distinct form of disrespect to the Flag and Country, no matter what they believe their cause is….The NFL is not the government it is a business and the players are subject to whatever rules the NFL decides.”
That being said, Czeczok made clear the nature of his protest is speaking out against the disrespect. It would not include stopping planes from using the Brainerd Airport.
“I am, and have always been fully aware that we cannot, and would not ever refuse any planes from landing at the BLRA. I was only asking (per my motion) the Airport Commission in joining me in a protest to ‘speak-out’ against the NFL allowing the players to kneel during the National Anthem,” Czeczok said
While the motion for protest on the part of BLRA failed, due to the lack of a second, other members also spoke out against the disrespect and all seemed to agree with Czeczok’s sentiment.
Marty Johnson, another member of the airport commission, told the Duluth Tribune, “As long as the film crews and the media keep spotlighting the fact that this guy didn’t stand and this guy didn’t stand, [NFL athletes are] going to keep doing it.”