In September, Ford Motor Co. released a statement supporting NFL players’ right to protest during the national anthem.
“We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share. That’s part of what makes America great,” the Ford statement said.
On Wednesday, Ford was hit with its first high-profile boycott when Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington announced his department will no longer purchase Ford vehicles or products until the NFL demands its players “show proper respect for our nation's colors.”
Whittington wrote his own letter to Hixson Ford in Alexandria, Louisiana, explaining his decision:
Yes, the NFL players have a right to protest as they deem necessary, but we, the Bossier Sheriff’s Office and taxpayers of Bossier Parish, have a right to spend our money elsewhere. I realize that Ford Motor Co. has made this decision and may not necessarily be supported by your company, but you are our dealer.
From 2016-2017 alone, the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office reportedly made roughly $747,000 in purchases from Ford, including 21 Ford Police Interceptors, four Ford Tauruses, a Ford F-150, two Ford F-250s and a Ford Explorer, according to The Shreveport Times.
The owner of the Ford dealership, Dallas Hixon, said Ford’s corporate stance on the national anthem protests is concerning and plans to take it to Ford leadership soon, according to the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page:
And Whittington is hoping his boycott will catch on as he’s sending a copy of his letter to all 63 sheriffs in Louisiana.
The national anthem protests were started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who said he refused to “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”