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LAKE OZARK, Mo. – A Missouri bar owner took some heat on social media after using the NFL jerseys of Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch as doormats to the establishment’s entrance.
Jason Burle, owner of S.N.A.F.U. Bar, told KOMU that he decided to use the jerseys as doormats after players around the league took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustice. He ordered the jerseys specifically to use them as doormats.
Taylor Sloan noticed the jerseys at the bar and said it put a “bad taste” in his mouth. Sloan noted that the placement of the jerseys resulted in the phrase “Lynch Kaepernick” and complained on the bar’s Facebook page about the uncomfortable association.
The exchange between the two men online became heated. Sloan accused Burle of using the “faux guise” of patriotism to espouse “hate, violence and American racism.”
Sloan told KOMU that he didn’t believe Burle saw the problem with how he’d arranged the jerseys. He took a picture to document it.
Burle said Sloan was looking too much into it. He said he spent six years in the Air Force and has several family members serving in the military. The NFL protests angered him, resulting in the doormats. He insisted the move had no racist overtones.
“It’s not a race thing,” Burle said. “A lot of people want to twist it around to be a race thing.”
Burle said he started the bar as a way to give back to military veterans. The business has a “hall of heroes” featuring pictures of customers and their relatives who’ve served in the military.
Burle later sent a picture to KOMU to show he’d switched the placement of the jerseys, putting Kaepernick’s ahead of Lynch’s.