The owner of S&Z Grocery in Athens, Alabama, Phillip Stewart, recently made a decision that sparked heated debates and triggered online discussions. Stewart announced that he would no longer be selling two specific Pepsi products, citing his strong opposition to the NFL whose logo adorned the banned items.
In an interview with WAFF, Stewart explained his stance, saying, “I don’t want to support them in any way because I feel like it’s just wrong.” He emphasized his conscientious objection, stating, “I can’t in good conscience sell the product because it does have the logo on it.”
Using a Facebook post, Stewart notified his customers of the product removal, expressing his disagreement with the actions of some NFL athletes who knelt during the national anthem as a form of protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
While acknowledging the athletes’ right to protest, Stewart remarked, “I perfectly understand what they’re protesting about, but I believe there are other ways to deal with it.” He expressed hope that the attention brought to the issue would lead to positive outcomes, but he disagreed with the chosen method of protest.
Importantly, Stewart clarified that his decision was not against the broader purpose of the protest or Pepsi itself. He continues to sell other Pepsi products but has chosen not to carry those featuring the NFL logo. The response to Stewart’s decision has been mixed, with some deeming it silly while others applaud him for standing up for his beliefs.
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