Bar owner sets up controversial Kaepernick doormat, insists it's 'not a race thing'

A bar owner in Missouri has come under fire for setting up a controversial doormat outside his place in Lake Ozark. 

After NFL players decided to start kneeling during the national anthem as a way to protest racial injustice, bar owner Jason Burle thought he would make a statement of his own by making a doormat outside of his place using two NFL jerseys. 

The two jerseys that Burle happened to use for the doormat were Marshawn Lynch and Colin Kaepernick, which created a display outside his bar that some customers weren't exactly thrilled with.

Here's what the jerseys look like next to each other:

When a customer pointed out that the display might not be appropriate for its racial undertone, Burle claimed that his display had nothing to do with anyone's race

"It's not a race thing," Burle told KOMU.com in Missouri. "A lot of people want to twist it around to be a race thing."

Burle said it was a coincidence that he used the jerseys of Kaepernick and Lynch in that order. 

"We pulled them out of the box, taped them down. There was no ill-intent," Burle said. "If someone thinks that I mean personal harm to someone, they don't know me." 

When a customer pointed out on Facebook that Burle was "expressing hate, violence and continuing American racism under the faux guise of patriotism," the bar owner once again denied that his display had any racial undertones. 

"It's funny to me that someone would look that far deeply into it just to find a racist link," Burle said. 

Burle, who says he spent six years in the Air Force and opened his bar to cater to military veterans, said his doormat is protected by the same freedom of speech that protects the kneeling players.  

"I commend [the players] for what they're doing, as far as the right goes. I fought for that right," Burle said. "The same thing that gives them that right gives me the right to place these out here."

Apparently, Burle finally gave into to the complaining customers because the floor mat has now been reversed, with Kaepernick's jersey on the left and Lynch's jersey on the right. You can see a picture of the new arrangement by clicking here

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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