Has NFL controversy been hurting local sports bars?

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As a counter protest to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem, some NFL fans have begun burning memorabilia of their "former" favorite teams - throwing jerseys, season tickets, and other merchandise - into the flames.

Black Hills FOX Reporter Katrina visits a local sports bar and sees if the counter protests have been affecting their business.

Many NFL fans are protesting by refusing to go to games or not watching them on television all together.

Eric Denson is a cook at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Rapid City.

He says their customers still seem to be fans and willing to come to sports bars like theirs to watch a game.

Buffalo Wings & Rings Cook and U.S. Army member Eric Denson says, "We haven't really seen much of a change honestly. I think mostly people around here, they just come to watch the game. They're just coming to have a good time with their friends and eat some food and just watch the game. I don't really think we've seen a decrease or an increase at all in our in-flow of customers."

Tensions have been running high on social media on the topic, but Denson says Wings & Rings' atmosphere remains the same.

Eric Denson says, "I guess I haven't really seen a change in the atmosphere around. It's just been really light-hearted. If people do want to express their feelings it's all been in good favor. No one's really been offended."

When we typed in "burning NFL jerseys" on Facebook, a slew of comments with various opinions popped up.

One person said, "Watching American patriots burn their NFL crap is way more entertaining than watching disrespectful overpaid idiots."

Someone responded with, "The NFL's protests began as a move to highlight racial inequality and bring attention to police brutality."

Another person wrote "the NFL still got your money for purchasing them."

And others said the jerseys are still shirts, and that they should have been donated to the homeless.

Eric Denson says, "Everybody knows what the NFL is. I think they should be separate from politics and it shouldn't be integrated so where I can just watch football and not worry about having to listen to politics or I could just go watch the news and watch politics."

We spoke on the phone with a few other sports bars in the area and they generally have the same consensus - business has not changed due to any NFL counter protests.