Missouri: Bar Installs “Lynch Kaepernick” Doormats After NFL Protests
The owners of S.N.A.F.U Bar in Lake Ozark, Missouri are facing extreme backlash after taping down two jerseys at the entrance to their bar following the NFL national anthem protests. The jerseys – of NFL players Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick – are arranged to spell out the phrase “Lynch Kaepernick” with the tape appearing like a chalk body outline typically used around dead bodies.
“It’s not a race thing,” said Jason Burle, who owns the S.N.A.F.U Bar near the Bagnell Dam. “A lot of people want to twist it around to be a race thing.”
Burle said he ordered two NFL jerseys to be used as doormats outside his bar after NFL players started kneeling during the national anthem at football games.
“We pulled them out of the box, taped them down. There was no ill-intent,” Burle said.
Burle used the jerseys of NFL players Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick. When placed side-by-side, the jerseys read “Lynch” “Kaepernick.”
“If someone thinks that I mean personal harm to someone, they don’t know me,” Burle said.
But that’s what crossed Taylor Sloan’s mind when he saw the jerseys outside Burle’s bar over the weekend.
“That’s not the Missouri I know,” Sloan said. “It just kind of upset me really bad. Put a bad taste in my mouth.”
This incident isn’t the first time bar owner Jason Burle has targeted NFL players for engaging in peaceful protest. Last year he briefly engaged in a similar stunt when he taped down Kaepernick’s jersey after the player made news for peacefully protesting racial injustice.
“Come wipe your feet on the way in!” he said in a September 2016 Facebook post drawing attention to the jersey-turned-doormat.
In his most recent attack on black athletes peacefully protesting racial injustice, Burle cited the reasoning Donald Trump used when calling for shutting down the free speech of those he disagrees with.
“A lot of us military folks take that personal to heart,” Burle said referring to the national anthem.
When pressed to explain why he arranged the shirts to spell out “Lynch Kaepernick,” Burle responded, “It’s not a race thing.” He added that it was just “ the way they came out of the box.”
Reporting on the story, the Washington Post noted:
According to data compiled by the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative and released in July, there were 60 lynchings of African Americans in Missouri between 1877 and 1950, making it the state with the second-highest number of lynchings outside of the South. Oklahoma was the leader with 76. The EJI calls them “public acts of racial terrorism intended to instill fear in entire black communities.”
Following outcry on social media, Burle changed the positioning of the jerseys so they did not appear to call for lynching a black athlete. Regardless, he’s still inviting his patrons to walk over and wipe their feet on representations of black athletes protesting racial injustice.
If that’s not a metaphor for America in 2017, nothing is.