Budweiser Wades Into the NFL’s National Anthem Controversy

October 4, 2017, 3:34 PM UTC

Budweiser (BUD), one of the NFL’s biggest sponsors, is keeping a close eye on the enduring controversy surrounding protests during the national anthem.

The company has set up a hotline for customers to leave their thoughts about the protests by NFL players, but says it has no plans to end its sponsorship of the league. Bud Light is the official beer of the NFL.

Customers who call 1-800-342-5283 are met with a recorded message saying “At Anheuser-Busch, we have a long heritage of supporting the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and military dependents. The national anthem is a point of pride for our company and for the 1,100 veterans that we employ. Please feel free to share your feedback after the tone.”

Anheuser-Busch, a division of Anheuser-Busch InBev, says the line is often used for customer inquiries on a variety of topics.

“We have many long-term sports partnerships, including our NFL sponsorship, and while we may not agree on everything, we still believe in the power of sport to bring people together and overcome their differences,” the company said in a statement. “We have no plans to end our NFL sponsorship.”

The issue of protests during the anthem has been simmering for some time, but exploded after Donald Trump called for owners to fire players who knelt during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Since then, DirecTV has been inundated with refund requests and Fox Sports has stopped airing the national anthem before some games.