A bar in Lake Ozark, Missouri, is facing accusations of racism from at least one passerby after using two National Football League (NFL) jerseys as doormats, according to KOMU.
KOMU on Tuesday reported that the owner of the S.N.A.F.U. Bar recently ordered two jerseys after the NFL began experiencing protests over the national anthem.
The jerseys represented Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Owner Jason Burle then taped down the jerseys as doormats in an order reading “Lynch” “Kaepernick.”
Some Twitter users on Thursday voiced outrage at Burle’s decision, which comes amid raging national debate over how NFL players are handling racial issues.
So of all jerseys, he chooses marshawn lynches? Odd to place Lynche's jersey before Kaepernick's. I'm sure it's just a coincedence...— Travis Hutchinson (@Hutch_Trav) September 28, 2017
Burle said Tuesday that his display is about standing up for himself and his family, many of whom served in the military.
“A lot of us military folks take that personal to heart,” he said of the NFL’s national anthem protests.
“We pulled them out of the box, taped them down,” Burle added of the doormats. “There was no ill-intent.”
“It’s not a race thing. A lot of people want to twist it around to be a race thing. If someone thinks that I mean personal harm to someone, they don’t know me.”
Taylor Sloan, a passer-by who encountered Burle’s display over the weekend, on Tuesday said he had a different reaction to its connotations.
“That’s not the Missouri I know,” he said. “It just kind of upset me really bad. [It] put a bad taste in my mouth.”
Burle sent KOMU a picture Tuesday afternoon revealing that the placement of the jerseys had been reversed.
Scores of NFL coaches, executives and players last weekend knelt during the national anthem after President Trump derided the practice.
Trump said last week that the NFL should fire players who perform the gesture during a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.
Kaepernick began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” in 2016 to protest racial injustice in the U.S.
The practice has since spread throughout the NFL, and it has also been duplicated by professional athletes in other sports.
We asked veterans how they really feel about the NFL anthem protests.