A popular Washington area restaurant facing a boycott for turning NFL games off because of player protests is getting the support of the nation's sheriffs.

The National Sheriffs' Association told Secrets that it is going to pay the check of any law enforcement officer's meal at Fat Tuesday's in Fairfax, Va.

The influential group said it is sending a $1,000 check to the pub for the meals. What's more, Deputy Executive Director John Thompson and his wife will be at Fat Tuesday's Sunday, NFL game day.

The restaurant announced this week that it was banning the games until the protests end.

In a note to patrons, owners RL and Karen Butler wrote:

As proud parents of an active duty member of the US Army and a veteran of Afghanistan, we stand on the side of our brave men & women in uniform not the men in sports costumes that take a knee and disrespect our country, our National Anthem, our military and our veterans.

We place a much higher value on our great country than any sporting event. Therefore, we will not be showing any NFL games at Fat Tuesday's until there is a stop to this foolishness.

While it has won support for its move, it has also come under fire and there have been calls on social media for protests.

One critical post read:

I'm going to need Virginians to boycott Fat Tuesdays in Fairfax. Apparently they do not understand that black lives matter and that this stance against the national anthem has nothing to do with the flag, vets, first responders, etc. So they're refusing to air NFL games. I say boycott all Fat Tuesdays. They weren't getting any of my money anyway..

I guess the NFL is supposed to demand the players to stand. Ass if They are slaves. They have a right to protest. It's time we're exercising our freedom of speech.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com