A bar owner in Missouri is facing online criticism after he posted a picture of the jerseys of Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch as doormats.
The SNAFU Bar in Lake Ozark is being deemed racist after it placed the jerseys in front of the doorway with Lynch’s jersey left of Kaepernick. Some people said that it appeared to read as “Lynch Kaepernick,” KOMU-TV reported.
SNAFU’s Facebook page says it’s a “veteran-owned, military-themed, patriotic bar.”
The bar’s owner, Jason Burle, said that he didn’t place the jerseys intentionally in that order.
He decided to use the jerseys as doormats because he doesn’t agree with the players protesting during the national anthem.
Missouri bar takes heat for using Lynch, Kaepernick jerseys as doormats https://t.co/vuMKjAK5wZ
— FOX59 News (@FOX59) September 28, 2017
Lynch, who plays for the Oakland Raiders, sat down during the national anthem this season. Last season, Kaepernick—credited with starting the trend—took a knee during the song.
A passerby took a photo of the arrangement of the jerseys and sent a photo to the SNAFU bar’s Facebook page and complained. Burle responded to the person with, “It’s funny to me that someone would look that far deeply into it just to find a racist link.”
“It’s not a race thing,” he said.
“We pulled them out of the box, taped them down. There was no ill-intent,” Burle said.
According to KOMU, after the backlash, he rearranged the jerseys’ order, sending the station a new photo.
— James Packard (@jamesspackard) September 26, 2017
“A lot of us military folks take that personal to heart,” Burle said of the protests, “We give discounts to veterans, we have a hall of heroes inside. We have flags that have flown overseas mounted inside,” he added.
“I commend [NFL players] for what they’re doing, as far as the right [to protest] goes,” Burle said, reported USA Today. “I fought for that right. The same thing that gives them that right gives me the right to place these [jersey-concocted doormats] out here.”