National Anthem debate hurts NFL merchandise sales

(KOB) The owners of a New Mexico business that has been around for more than three decades are now afraid they may have to close their doors, and they are blaming it on the NFL season.

Andy Hageman, co-owner of House of Football in northeast Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, says business is down 50 percent this month compared to October of 2016. Business dipped when national debate began over players kneeling during the National Anthem before NFL games, and believes the president tweeting about it only stirred the pot even more.

“We didn’t expect it. We didn’t see it coming, but now it’s here we can do nothing about it. Nobody in football is doing anything about it and we’re being further hurt by the fact that the division in the country is highlighted by the comments of the president of the United States,” Hageman said.

Hageman says he is frustrated because, regardless of how people feel about the sport or protests, his store is not affiliated. House of Football sells officially licensed gear, but none of the proceeds go back to the NFL.

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