Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 5:53 pm | Fair 68º


Captain’s Log: Wave of Outdoor Activity Surges Since NFL Flag Flap

As a sporting goods-retail store owner and owner/operator of a boat charter service, I’m noticing increases in business and general outdoor activities on Sundays. I’ve been asking people about it and the passionate answers are intriguing.

One customer, Shaun, said: “It’s simple, I quit watching the NFL games. If those jokers can’t stand and respect our flag, I’m done with them.

"I had a closet full of Steelers gear — pennants, jerseys, hoodies, jackets, blankets and everything else I could find to buy. Then when they refused to stand, put their hand over their heart and honor our flag, I took every bit of it out and dumped it in the trash.

"It filled up one of the big trash cans. Now I’m free on Sundays, Monday nights and Thursday nights.”

As I talked to other people in the shop, on Goleta Pier, along the beaches or on my charter boat, I got similar passionate responses quite often. Some folks are even feeling they don’t have much respect for people who shrug it off and continue to watch the high-paid athletes.

Another interesting perspective I got from Dan, a worker at a boating facility was: “Those guys are making millions because they have that kind of physical ability and they are lucky enough to have it right here in America.

"If they had it in most other countries they would just be able to dig ditches better than most other workers.”

One pointed and passionate comment I got was: “If there is something going on in the country that they don’t like, they should do something about it, but this isn’t the right way to go about it. I pay them to entertain me, not disrespect our flag.

"They should have to follow the rules of their league and face stiff fines if they don’t. Teams should be losing a draft choice, like their rules say and a draft choice should be lost for each week that 100 percent of their players refuse to honor our flag by standing with their hands over their hearts.”

I’m guessing there are still people sitting on the couch, drinking beer, eating chips and bellowing at their TV when a good or bad NFL play happens and without a thought or care about treatment of our flag.

For those who no longer watch NFL, I’m also guessing there are some medical doctors happy that their patients are out being active. This situation is messy.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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