A billboard in southern New Jersey is receiving criticism for its reference to the NFL player protests sparked by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Some of those opposed to the billboard have called it "racist" and demanded its removal.
What's on the billboard?
South Jersey Shooting Club's billboard features a shooter kneeling with a gun poised on his shoulder, which aims off into the distance.
The billboard reads, "The only time we take a knee."
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. pic.twitter.com/nCCd8SBUmy
— MoNeke Ragsdale (@MonekeRagsdale) November 13, 2017
What are people saying about the billboard?
Twitter user Moneke Ragsdale shared a photo of the billboard and wrote, "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."
Keith Benson Sr., a member of a local NAACP chapter, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "We’re talking about police murdering unarmed black people. They deserve 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."
Susan Druckenbrod, a member of the South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, told the outlet that she spoke to an employee at the gun range and told them just what she thought of the billboard: "racist."
Druckenbrod said that when she contacted the gun range, the employee said "that's nice" in response to her accusations of racism.
"We’re living in a very difficult time right now," Druckenbrod explained. "People are trying to stand up for black and brown people to say, 'Hey this is not right.' That sign really is just mocking the idea of taking a knee."
The club, which is an NRA Gold Club Affiliate according to its website, has received both support and displeasure over the billboard on its Facebook page.
Did the gun range respond?
The Inquirer reported Wednesday that Wesley Aducat, owner of the Camden County shooting club, said, "It has absolutely nothing to do with race. It’s just support for our veterans."
Aducat said that thoughhe supports the NFL players' right to protest, he does not agree with what the protests stand for.