A New Jersey shooting club is under fire amid claims that its billboard depicting a kneeling soldier is racist, but the owner is taking a stand.
To combat the NFL players protesting the national anthem, one gun range owner in southern New Jersey decided to put up a billboard that says, “The only time we take a knee.”
In conjunction with the words, the billboard also displayed shows a picture of a person all in black holding a rifle. Because it appears to be mocking NFL players who chose to take a knee to fight police brutality and racial inequality, liberals in the area are highly upset. Some people even called the gun range video racist. The owner said that the billboard had nothing to do with race or minority populations.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with race,” said Wesley Aducat, owner of South Jersey Shooting Club, to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s just support for our veterans.”
Local activists from the NAACP chapter in Camden, N.J., are calling for protests against the company and demanding that Aducat remove the billboard. NAACP member Keith Benson Sr. has encouraged people to call and complain.
“We’re talking about police murdering unarmed black people,” he said to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “[South Jersey Shooting Club desrves] all the disrespect they’re going to get as a result of putting it up. But they probably thought they were clever. They probably thought they were strong, patriotic Americans.”
This photo was originally posted by MoNeke Ragsdale who snapped a picture of the billboard and turned to Twitter to “expose” Aducat’s “racist” sign.
“Please call! This billboard on Rt. 73 in Voorhees. Tell them this billboard is racist. Taking a knee is a protest to say NO to police brutality. The women of SJWPC are taking a knee to support black and brown people.Take it down!The Manager is Carmen Console: 609-704-9500.” Ragsdale posted a picture of one of the billboards on Twitter.
The shooting range, however, has garnered a significant amount of supportive comments on its Facebook page.
“If I lived closer I’d sure patronize your business. LOVE the billboards, keep them up!!!” wrote one person. “Love the billboards! Ignore the haters, they probably can’t legally own guns anyway,” said another. Added one: “I support you – LEAVE THE BILLBOARD UP.”
Watch the video report below
Sources: AWM, The Philadelphia Inquirer.