A bar owner assured society that he’s definitely not racist after placing a "Lynch Kaepernick" doormat in front of his business. Oh, OK then.
Jason Burle, who runs the military-themed bar SNAFU in Lake Ozark, Missouri, created a makeshift doormat from the jerseys of Oakland Raiders player Marshawn Lynch and former San Francisco 49ers player and social justice icon Colin Kaepernick as a counter-protest to the #TakeAKnee movement. He placed the jerseys side-by-side to read “Lynch Kaepernick.”
"They were placed the way they came out of the box," Burle said of the jerseys’ placement in an interview with KOMU.
"There was no ill intent,” he added.
The order of the names seemed to be completely lost on him.
Kaepernick’s statement to kneel during the national anthem to draw attention to the black and brown lives taken by police violence got him blackballed from the NFL but launched a nationwide protest that apparently irked President Donald Trump’s white supremacist tendencies. Lynch is one of the players who has joined the protest.
"It’s not a race thing,” Burle said of the doormat. “A lot of people want to twist it around to be a race thing.”
But to passerby Taylor Sloan, race certainly played a part. He said the stunt “[p]ut a bad taste in my mouth.”
"You are also expressing hate, violence and continuing American racism under the faux guise of patriotism,” he wrote on the bar’s Facebook page.
Burle and Sloan got into quite the heated dispute over race relations in a now-deleted Facebook thread.
While Burle maintains he can use the jerseys as doormats, he did switch the order of the names around to read “Kaepernick Lynch,” as if that would quell the firestorm of backlash.
Banner image credit: Reuters