BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - John Lee wants your NFL jerseys torched, not worn.
Lee, owner of Coney Island Drive Inn, is offering an open invitation to a "Celebration of Patriotism," where anyone can throw their NFL merchandise into a fire pit in exchange for a free "world famous foot long."
The "celebration" is in response to protesting NFL players and coaches who kneel or sit during the national anthem to bring attention to racial injustice.
"There is a right and wrong way to show your displeasure," said Lee, an U.S. Army veteran, to our news partners at the Tampa Bay Times. "And turning your back on this country's values is the wrong way."
The idea for Sunday's event came from a conversation with Lee's business neighbor, Hernando County Commissioner Steve Champion, who owns American Gun and Pawn.
"This community takes our flag seriously, so this is not acceptable in our book," said Champion, whose son is an active-duty U.S. Marine, to the Times. "It is disrespect to our country and we are not going to watch this c--- anymore."
Live music will start at the back of the East Jefferson Street restaurant starting at 1:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of the flag at 2:45 p.m. and a performance of the national anthem at 3 p.m.
The burning will start immediately afterwards.
Lee's event won't be the only one in Tampa Bay this Sunday. A similar rally, which will include a "small recreational fire" will take place outside Raymond James Stadium before the Bucs play the New York Giants. Hot dogs will also be given away.
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