A New England Patriots fan who was outraged by players’ taking a knee at last Sunday’s game organized a jersey-burning party as his own protest.
A hundred people showed up at Mark Shane’s home in Swansea, Massachusetts, for the event on Thursday night.
Together they tossed Patriots jerseys and t-shirts into a small, contained fire pit while singing America The Beautiful and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Shane, 61, was one of thousands of fans who watched as several Patriots players took a knee during the National Anthem before their game against the Houston Texans on September 24.
Angry New England Patriots fans burned jerseys and other memorabilia at a party on Thursday night held by Massachusetts resident Mark Shane in his front yard
He was furious with their protest and considered it a sign of disrespect to the country, the same view held by President Trump.
Mark Shane, 61, believes the NFL protests are disrespectful and was disappointed when Patriots players took a knee last Sunday
On Monday, he announced his plan to host his own peaceful protest of their protest.
‘If you have a Patriots jersey please bring it so we can burn it. This is our right to protest what they did.’
The next day, he placed a picket sign in his front yard announcing the event and was thrilled by the turnout on Thursday.
‘I think it was a great success. I think people were united, I think people love our country and I think it sends a great message to the NFL and any divisive type actions will not be tolerated during sports,’ he told local CBS affiliate WBZ.
Many of those who attended the party were veterans. They complained that the NFL protests disrespect the sacrifices they made for the country during their service.
‘Some of those young kids they don’t know what us old guys went through,’ one said.
Another chimed in: ‘It upsets me that they, I understand we do have issues with this county that need to be resolved and I think that’s not the platform to be doing it.’
The man hosted a jersey burning party in his yard in Swansea, Massachusetts, on Thursday. Beforehand, he posted this sign in front of his house and spread the word on social media
Shane said he believed the players were being disrespectful and that his party would serve as a protest of their protest
At the party on Thursday, 100 people sang America The Beautiful and recited the Pledge of Allegiance beneath a canopy of American flags
Local media filmed the party at Shane’s house. He’d laid out lawn chairs for the occasion
The fire was in a small, contained pit in the front yard. Guests tossed jerseys, t-shirts and other memorabilia into it
Any jerseys that were not burned were put into a box to be sent to hurricane victims who are in need of clothes.
Shane is not the first irate NFL fan to burn his jersey since the protests swept the league over the weekend.
More than 200 players in the league have knelt or sat down during the national anthem following President Trump’s controversial comments about the NFL where he called for players who protested to be fired.
One man burned more than $1,000 worth of memorabilia.
Shane’s Patriots Jersey in the yard before the party. He had a fire extinguisher on hand. Any t-shirts or jerseys that were not burned were sent to hurricane victims across the country
‘We stand for this country. We have morals in this country. My great uncles bones are lying in the bottom of Pearl Harbour for this country, for the flag, for your freedom to play in the NFL and to say whatever you want to say,’ he said.
On Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers gave their own demonstration by linking arms during the Anthem.
Their opponents the Chicago Bears mimicked them, locking arms on the opposite side of the field.
They insisted it was not a protest but a ‘moment of unification’.
Several New England Patriots players took a knee during the National Anthem before their game against the Houston Texans on Sunday