Well, now you have it, folks. Consumers and businesses alike have drawn their respective lines in the sand and now it’s a waiting game to see who’s got the most patience. At the beginning of the NFL season in September, Ford Motor Co. took the position of “We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great.” To be honest, it’s a pretty placating statement to both sides. Unfortunately for the automaker, the Sheriff of Bossier Parish stated that his department will no longer purchase Ford vehicles or products until the NFL requires players to “show proper respect for our nation’s colors.”
Julian Whittington wrote a letter to the local Ford dealership that they had been doing business with to explain his position.
“Yes, the NFL players have a right to protest as they deem necessary, but we, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and taxpayers of Bossier Parish, have a right to spend our money elsewhere. I realize that Ford Motor Co. has made the decision and may not necessarily be supported by your company, you are our dealer.”
Dallas Hixon, the owner of the local dealership has stated that this boycott is seriously concerning and will be taking Sheriff Whittington’s letter to Ford leadership as he was unaware of the company’s stance regarding the NFL protests.
Sheriff Whittington has also sent his letter to the other parish’s Sheriff’s offices hoping that his boycott will catch on and seriously affect Ford, urging them to change their policy. In Bossier Parish, during the 2016-2017 year, almost $800 thousand dollars in vehicles were purchased. While it is not the biggest parish in the state, it certainly makes a dent that will leave a bigger mark than just one or two average citizens boycotting the multi-billion dollar Ford Motor Company.
The point seems to be moot though as Roger Goodell has issued a new rule, stating that players should stand for the Flag and the Anthem or face punishments such as fines or loss of draft picks. Time will tell to see how the players and league officials work with this rule going forward. The move by Goodell, while controversial in some circles, might be what puts an end to the divide among consumers and one of America’s largest sports entertainment industries. For now, however, Ford Motor Co. is taking a pretty significant hit via the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.