WOW Facebook protest

WOW Cafe & Wingery of St. Bernard took to Facebook on Sunday afternoon to say it wouldn't televise the Saints vs. Panthers game after a group of players participated in a protest during the national anthem.

WOW Cafe & Wingery of St. Bernard in Chalmette took to Facebook on Sunday afternoon to say it won't televise the Saints vs. Panthers game after a group of players participated in a protest during the national anthem.

"I apologize to all of our guests but we will not be viewing the Saints game today in house," the post reads. "Some of our local players chose to sit during the National Anthem, which will not be supported or praised at WOW. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Thank you."

Lindsey Manasco, a 31-year-old manager, waitress and bartender at the Chalmette-located wingery, confirmed the restaurant's decision.

"That’s disrespectful to the United States," she told The Advocate.

Manasco said that only the St. Bernard location was boycotting the game so far, and she hadn’t heard of any other nearby businesses following suit.

The decision was ultimately made by Brooke Anastasiadis, the owner of the St. Bernard restaurant, Manasco said.

Anastasiadis was motivated in part because she wanted to show solidarity with members of the military, police officers and firefighters, all of whom are given a 20 percent discount in the store when the dine in uniform.

Manasco added that the WOW restaurant in Chalmette would continue to boycott the game “any time the Saints kneel.”

“The Saints are from New Orleans and we are at Chalmette, and we want to support them, but if they kneel or sit we are not going to show the game,” Manasco said.

She reported that a couple of tables walked out when diners learned that the game wouldn’t be shown, but that most customers “are agreeing with us.”

Ten Saints sat on the bench during the national anthem, and four more players who stood near the group in a show of support before the team's game. 

Rafael Bush, Kenny Vaccaro, Chris Banjo, Sheldon Rankins, Alex Okafor, Cameron Jordan, Adrian Peterson, Alvin Kamara, Brandon Coleman and Mark Ingram all sat. Thomas Morstead, Marshon Lattimore, Craig Robinson and Coby Fleener stood nearby with hands on teammates' shoulders.

The Saints and Pelicans organizations released a statement roughly half an hour before the start of Sunday's game, saying that the comments were "disappointing and inappropriate." The statement expressed support for the players, and also expressed the team's respect for the flag and the anthem.

The Saints' decision to sit during the anthem is part of a league-wide protest in backlash to comments made by President Donald Trump this weekend. 

Staff writer Della Hasselle contributed to this report.