MUNCIE, Ind.– A Muncie man burned his Indianapolis Colts jersey and banned the team from his home after some players protested Sunday during the national anthem.
At least 130 players across the League knelt as “The Star-Spangled Banner” played. Eight of them were Colts. The protests, sparked by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year, were amplified after President Donald Trump called for NFL players to be fired for participating.
After seeing the Colts players’ display Sunday, Shannon Turner was fed up.
“No more Colts. I’m done,” said Turner as he showed a pile of gear in his home sitting next to a bottle of alcohol. He then goes into his back yard and throws the jerseys and shirts on a fire pit with wood already inside.
His wife held the phone for him as he prepared to set the fire.
“For everybody who didn’t stand, this is for you. All you guys who did stand, America appreciates it,” Turner said before setting the gear ablaze. “Bye Colts, I’m done with you, hope a lot more people banned your a–.”
He waves to the camera and then continues to film as the jerseys burn.
FOX59 spoke with Turner about why he chose to burn his gear after the protest.
“I’m for free speech because that’s what our men and women of the united forces have fought for. I understand the message (players) are trying to get through to people and the president,” he said. “But this is not the time to protest these issues. This is our country they are disrespecting.”
Since the Colts moved here in 1984, Turner said he’s been a loyal fan, but not any more.
“Since they moved here, I bled blue. Yes I’m done with the NFL period. I do appreciate the team members that did stand though,” he said. “Because it’s our country. We are in this together. This is the time we all should pay respects to our men and women that service our country and have died for it.”
A Carmel man took things a step further, burning his season tickets.
“I support the flag and am so grateful for the people that gave their lives for it,” said Rodney Heard in a Facebook post.
Many fans disagreed with the President’s use of profanity to describe the players and him indicating to a private company who should and shouldn’t be fired for an action of free speech. Others agreed with the President, saying the players should protest outside of work.
“I think it’s shameful,” said Sam Morton. “I would like to see the Colts players leave the country and leave the team.”
At least one person FOX59 spoke with said they were not going to renewing their season tickets. Others said they’ll be upset if action is taken against players.
Colts Coach Chuck Pagano told reporters after the game Sunday the team made a decision to show solidarity on the issue of whether players should or shouldn’t be fired over protest.
“We talk about ‘us’, unity over self all the time and we wanted to be together on this thing and this is a united football team and united locker room,” said Pagano. “I’m proud of, you know, their commitment and their compassion for this game and for the horseshoe, not only on the field, but off the field.”