Local Business Owners to Hold NFL Merchandise Burn This Sunday, Collecting Donations for Hurricane Ravaged Puerto Rico
BROOKSVILLE – A pair of neighboring businesses are planning to host a public event this weekend in celebration of the National Anthem and American Flag.
Coney Island Drive Inn owner, John Lee and American Gun and Pawn owner, Steve Champion, who also serves as Vice Chairman with the Hernando Board of County Commissioners are teaming up this Sunday to celebrate Patriotism and raise goods for the citizens of hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico.
The event has drawn the attention of nearly 600 people who are interested in the event but it’s unknown how many people will attend.
Frustration over the growing number of NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem is what originally set the wheels in motion to hold the event, and that led to the idea of allowing angry former NFL fans to burn merchandise as a show of defiance towards the league.
We spoke to both business owners today about the event and the growing racial divide that seems to have engulfed our country in just a few short months. Lee blames the media for propagating a false narrative and says. “I think they are fueling the fire with the division… The media feeds the fire to their own benefit. They look for talking points to up their ratings and getting people agitated.”Champion agrees and says, “They are trying to control the narrative and if they control the narrative then they will keep pushing this agenda about racism, and we should be past that already.” Champion takes special offense to the NFL’s disrespect of the Anthem and says, “My son is an active duty Marine it offends me that people are kneeling down to the National Anthem.”
Lee tells RNRF that he even discussed the event with a neighboring barber shop that is owned by a Black man, and after a discussing their differences on the issue, the owner told Lee, “Whatever you do I don’t have a problem with it, I know who you are, I’m cool with it.”
Before meeting with Lee and Champion, RNRF received a media release from John Horwitz, Executive Director of The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence that reads in part, “Join us in our fight to expose the NRA for their racist, misogynistic, xenophobic rhetoric…”
Champion responded to the inflammatory announcement, by stating, “That’s ridiculous. They are there to protect our 2nd Amendment right which is everyone’s right, no matter what color you are. As long as you’re not a criminal, you have a right to defend yourself.”
Both owners say the event is a peaceful gathering to celebrate patriotism and to raise money and good for the devastation in Puerto Rico.
A barrel will be available for people to burn their NFL merchandise and there will be free hot dogs to those who bring merchandise.
The Marine Corps will be in attendance to do a presentation on the history of the National Anthem and present the Flag.
Coney Island Drive Inn is located at 1112 East Jefferson Street in Downtown Brooksville. The event is scheduled between 1 and 4 p.m. while NFL games are in play.
Both owners hope that anyone protesting their event will remain peaceful.
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