Restaurant Owner Says Protesting NFL Players Should Be Killed

Restaurant Owner Says Protesting NFL Players Should Be Killed
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Updated 9 months ago

A co-owner of  Reefpoint Brew House, John Valko, went on a Facebook rant over NFL players taking the knee. The peaceful protest, started last season by former San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick, was a show of solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter. In recent weeks, with the help of Donald Trump's Twitter frenzy, the focus of the protest has been twisted into a debate over respect for the flag. 

On Monday night, Valko took to his private Facebook page and let his feelings be known. 

Valko removed the post almost immediately, but thanks to screenshots, it never disappeared:

Social media users condemned the violent nature of the post and noted that Valko missed the origins of the protest:

The other three owners of the restaurant released a statement to distance themselves from Valko:

It has been brought to our attention that one of our co-owners has made some statements that some people will find offensive. His statements do not represent us or the Brew House and we disclaim knowledge of, responsibility for, or association with those statements completely.

They quickly deleted that post after Facebook users called it "cowardly" and “pitifully inadequate.”

After admitting they wrote the first statement on the advice of their attorney, they posted this revised statement:

We Co-owners of Reefpoint Brew House do NOT support John Valko's statements and comments made by him on his personal page or pages of others. He is not the voice of Reefpoint Brew House or us. We are working hard internally to move forward and protect our selves, our business, and most importantly the 80+ staff members and their families livelihood.

Valko has since apologized and said he would be entering counseling, adding:

There is nothing else I can do at this point other than to say I’m sorry. I am very, very sorry.

Many people weren't buying it and thought the owners were going through the motions to sidestep a controversy:

In an odd turn of events, the owners of Reefpoint Brew House decided it would be a good idea to show their solidarity with their "staff and America" by posting a video of an employee singing the National Anthem in the dining room. They posted the video with the following message:

We are one. Regardless of race, creed, or color. I stand with my staff. I stand with America.