A Missouri bar owner is trying his best to explain an improvised doormat where two NFL jerseys positioned side-by-side read, “Lynch Kaepernick.”
When passerby Taylor Sloan saw the doormat near the entrance to SNAFU Bar in Lake Ozark, he called out the bar on its Facebook page, saying, “There’s a reason why the NAACP issued a travel warning for Missouri. Pretty obvious the lack of professionalism at this bar. You lost my business the moment you decided to showcase this kind of behavior.”
Regarding Sloan’s comment, the NAACP issued a travel warning for Missouri in early August for people of color, warning them to use “extreme caution while visiting” due to ongoing “civil rights violations.”
That’s when SNAFU owner Jason Burle decided to chime in, sparking an intense debate with Sloan and others on the post’s comment thread. Burle claimed that the doormat was simply reflecting his strong support for veterans and anyone who saw a racial component was overreacting.
“It’s funny to me that someone would look that far deeply into it just to find a racist link,” Burle wrote.
“The way they were displayed was purely out of accident,” he explained. “But once again just like those players some of you think everything has to be about race and Hate (sic).”
When local NBC affiliate KOMU caught up with him, Burle admitted that he crafted the doormat in response to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protests against police violence, saying that he used the jerseys as doormats outside his bar after NFL players started kneeling during the National Anthem at football games.
“We pulled them out of the box, taped them down. There was no ill-intent,” Burle claimed.
Nevertheless, Burle followed up with KOMO and let them know he switched out the placement of the jerseys. His tone was a little softer too.
“I commend them for what they’re doing, as far as the right goes. I fought for that right,” Burle, who spent 6 years in the Air Force, said. “The same thing that gives them that right gives me the right to place these out here.”
But Sloan doesn’t see it that way.
“It just really upsets me when I see people put kind of a faux patriotism guise on racism.”
Watch KOMU’s report on the story below:
[Huffpo] Featured image via Facebook