The owner of a gun range in New Jersey has been asked to remove billboards that some claim are making fun of NFL players protesting during the U.S. national anthem before games.
Some claim that the billboards are “racist,” a claim the owner denies.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with race,” Wesley Aducat, owner of South Jersey Shooting Club, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s just support for our veterans.”
— MoNeke Ragsdale (@MonekeRagsdale) November 14, 2017
The billboards read: “The only time we take a knee…” It shows a soldier-like silhouette with one knee on the ground holding a rifle.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)’s Camden County East chapter claimed that the message is racist.
“We’re talking about police murdering unarmed black people,” NAACP member Keith Benson Sr. told the paper. “They deserve all the disrespect they’re going to get as a result of putting it up. But they probably thought they were clever. They probably thought they were strong, patriotic Americans.”
Wrote MoNeke Ragsdale: “Please call! This billboard on Rt. 73 in Voorhees. Tell them this billboard is racist. Taking a knee is a protest to say NO to police brutality. The women of SJWPC are taking a knee to support black and brown people.Take it down!The Manager is Carmen Console: 609-704-9500.” Ragsdale posted a picture of one of the billboards on Twitter.
The shooting range, however, has garnered a significant amount of supportive comments on its Facebook page.
“If I lived closer I’d sure patronize your business. LOVE the billboards, keep them up!!!” wrote one person.
“Love the billboards! Ignore the haters, they probably can’t legally own guns anyway,” said another.
Added one: “I support you – LEAVE THE BILLBOARD UP.”
Others implored the owner to not take down the billboard.
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