A restaurant in Virginia Beach has come under fire for using a Colin Kaepernick jersey as a doormat.
On Saturday, James Perry, who lives in the area, went to Krossroads Rock and Country Bar in the Pleasant Valley Shopping Center Thursday and saw the jersey taped to the ground at the front entrance.
He told FoxNews.com that he was shocked and “thought it was a joke.”
The general manager of the restaurant told FOX 8 that using the jersey as a doormat was in response to the football player’s alleged disrespect of the flag and “sportsmanship”—not the man himself or a comment on his race.
The San Francisco 49ers quarterback has sparked a national debate on free speech by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem before games. Kaepernick says he is kneeling in protest of police and systemic oppression against African Americans and minorities in the United States.
Since Kaepernick began his anthem protest, his jersey is flying off the shelves– it’s currently the fifth bestselling jersey on NFL.com. But maybe it’s moving for the wrong reasons.
Perry, however, called the act of using the jersey as a stomping mat “racist” and is calling for a boycott of the bar. He posted a picture of taped-down jersey which has since been shared over 5,800 times on the social media platform. He says Krossroads has now lost a loyal customer.
But some locals—and out of state supporters—are standing by the Virgina Beach restaurant.
“I was not offended by that,” Carol Bevilacqua told FOX 8. “I think we live in a free country. I think people are allowed to do what they want.”
Yelpers have also flooded Krossroads’ page with one-star reviews in support of Perry.
“I’m sick of hearing all you ‘tards calling this place racist, then having the nerve to give them a negative review just because you and this establishment don’t see eye to eye,” wrote one Yelper.
“Most of America hates Kaepernick for disrespecting our flag, not because he’s black or why he’s doing it. He could’ve chose a different way to get his point across without making enemies in the process.”
The restaurant isn’t the first business to use the quarterback’s jersey as a floor accesory. A cigar lounge in Houston was also reportedly using Kaepernick’s jersey as a doormat earlier this month.
The general manager of Krossroads was not immediately available for comment.