Pepsi's slogan may have once been "The Choice of a New Generation," but one grocery store owner has chosen to no longer sell its products because they feature the NFL logo.
A Facebook post from S&Z Grocery in Athens, Alabama, stated the store would not sell the products until the logo is removed.
“This may cause me to lose some business, but here goes. S&Z supermarket currently will not be selling 20 ounce Pepsi or Diet Pepsi. These two items are currently produced with the NFL logo on them. I refuse to sell the product until the logo is removed. I will not bow down in order to make a dollar as long as the athletes are allowed to bow down and disrespect the flag and country I love,” the Facebook post stated.
Phillip Stewart, the owner of the store, told WAFF he pulled the bottles off the shelf himself, saying it felt wrong to sell the products with the logo.
“I don’t want to support them in any way, because I feel like it’s just wrong. I can’t in good conscious sell the product because it does have the logo on it,” said Stewart.
“I pulled them myself, the customers didn’t know I was doing this. I sold the product that I had that did not have the logo on it. And I told my rep as well as the delivery guy that I did not want those brought into the store because I would not sell them,” he continued.
During the 2016-2017 season, many NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem. The protest was started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who began kneeling to protest against police brutality. The kneeling triggered fierce debate across the country and received criticism from President Trump.
Stewart told WHNT he understood why players were protesting but didn’t “agree with the tactic.”
"The cause is just. I think there are other ways to deal with it. This has brought attention to it I'm sure there is good that comes from this, I just don't agree with the tactic," he said.
The owner said refusing to support the league helped him sleep at night.
"This helps me sleep at night. I can sleep knowing that I'm not supporting somebody that's doing something I don't believe in," he explained.
Stewart told WAFF that most of his customers supported his cause but he has received some negative phone calls about the Facebook post.