Two years ago, Cleveland, Tenn., businessman Allan Jones was proudly showing off his newly acquired Hardwick Clothing-brand suits by providing the wardrobe for NBC's on-air talent during the network's broadcasts of NFL football games.
But after NFL players and coaches challenged President Donald Trump and many took a knee during the national anthem played before their games over the weekend, Jones said he is through sponsoring the wardrobes or advertising on stations that air the National Football League.
Jones, CEO of the payday lending chain Check Into Cash and owner of Hardwick Clothes — America's oldest suit maker — tweeted his criticism and change of heart Tuesday.
"Our companies will not condone unpatriotic behavior!" said Jones, CEO of the payday lending chain Check Into Cash and owner of Hardwick Clothes — America's oldest suit maker. "For the 29 states we operate in, this isn't much to them, but it's a lot to us. The Tombras Group is our ad agency in Knoxville and our national media buyer for both TV and radio (for Check Into Cash) and don't look for Hardwick on the NFL either."
Jones, a strong supporter of Trump, directed his media buyer, the Tombras Group in Knoxville, to remove any commercials for Check Into Cash, Buy Here Pay here USA, or U.S. Money Stores from airing during NFL games "for the entire season."
Jones acquired the then financially struggling Hardwick Clothing in 2014 and has since boosted production and sales for the oldest continuously operating suit maker in the country.
Jones' Hardwick Clothes provided blazer jackers for NBC's on-air personalities for NFL games in the 2015 season. But other companies have provided suits, blazers and other apparel worn by NBC staffers in the past two seasons, according to Dan Masonson, vice president of communications for NBC Sports.
This story was updated Sept. 28 at 6:37 p.m.