Retired Dodgers broadcast announcer Vin Scully took on the ongoing NFL national anthem protests during a speech at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday night, saying he’ll never watch another pro football game again.
“I used to love, during the fall and winter, to watch the NFL on Sunday,” Scully said, according to Sports Illustrated. “It’s not that I’m some great patriot. I was in the Navy for a year, didn’t go anywhere, didn’t do anything. But I have overwhelming respect and admiration for anyone who puts on a uniform and goes to war. So the only thing I can do in my little way is not to preach. I will never watch another NFL game.”
Scully’s comments come a few days after Papa John’s Pizza CEO John Schnatter blamed the NFL protests for declining sales during an earnings call, and said that Papa John’s may end its partnership with the league if things don’t change. NFL ratings are currently seven percent down compared to last year.
But the increasing complaints from advertisers and some corners of the league’s viewership have not stopped players from taking knees and sitting on the bench during the national anthem. Last week, nearly the entire roster of the Houston Texans, kneeled during the national anthem after the team’s owner, Bob McNair, was reported saying at the league’s owners meeting about the protests that “the inmates should not run the prison.” This week, the entire team stood for the anthem as the Texans honored veterans at their game.