Black Rifle Coffee is the subject of a controversy that started when Elijah Schaffer connected the newly-bailed out Kyle Rittenhouse to the company along with this sponsorship code.
ST LAKE TRIBUNE – A Salt Lake City coffee company said it objected to a tweet posted by a Blaze Media reporter who tied its coffee to Kyle Rittenhouse, accused of killing two people during an August protest in Wisconsin.
Elijah Schaffer tweeted a since-removed photo of the 17-year-old wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company shirt with the caption, “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.” The teenager was released Friday after supporters raised his $2 million bail.
Schaffer posted a discount code for the coffee under the post with the photo. And online, commenters questioned whether the coffee company had a sponsorship deal with Rittenhouse and accused it of supporting murder and hate.
Here’s a screenshot of the tweet from Schaffer that began the controversy:
This caused a bevy of online hate to be directed at Black Rifle Coffee. They responded to the hate by pointing out that their company doesn’t have a sponsorship with Rittenhouse.
But the problem arose when their spokeswoman said they were dumping their sponsorship of Schaffer’s Blaze Media podcast over the tweet. It turns out that she made a mistake and the are not terminating their relationship with Schaffer:
But Black Rifle Coffee, a sponsor of Schaffer’s Slightly Offens*ve podcast, said in a statement Saturday that it is not sponsoring or supporting Rittenhouse.
A spokesperson for the coffee company told The Salt Lake Tribune on Saturday afternoon that the company was terminating its sponsorship of Slightly Offens*ve, but late Saturday, she said she had misunderstood.
“We are not fluctuating our ad spend,” she said in a text message. “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”
Earlier in the day, she had said: “We don’t traffic in national tragedy and to us, that’s what this is. We are not legal experts or members of law enforcement. We fully support all law enforcement officials and believe in the integrity of the legal system.”
After clarifying the company’s continuing sponsorship of Blaze Media, she added: “Our concern is that use of the discount code in the post did not reflect our values. That’s a concern we’ve addressed with the journalist and that he understands.”
Blaze employees “make decisions about how to allocate ad dollars within the Blaze,” she said, but she did not clarify whether Black Rifle would request to end its placement as a podcast sponsor. She said the company and Blaze are discussing “how to move forward with the allocation of ad dollars.”
At this point there are a lot of people upset on the right, blaming Black Rifle Coffee for bowing to the mob and cancel culture:
I don’t support cancel culture, but everyone gets to decide who they support. See the difference? @smcroasters stepped up for Kyle, Black Rifle Coffee bowed to the mob. You decide with your dollars.
— CIA-Simulation Warlord 🇺🇸🦈🇺🇸 (@zerosum24) November 22, 2020
But I just don’t think that’s true. Yes, their spokeswoman initially misspoke, but they’ve since clarified that they aren’t ending their relationship with The Blaze, which means they aren’t bowing to the mob and giving in to cancel culture.
They’ve since released a statement online to clarify their mission and that they don’t have a relationship with Rittenhouse:
As a veteran-owned and operated coffee company, Black Rifle Coffee Company exists to serve premium coffee while supporting the veteran Community. At the core of Black Rifle Coffee’s values is to support and bring awareness to the millions of veterans who have proudly served our nation and we will not waver from that mission.
The Black Rifle brand is a symbol of service, of strength, and of goodness that has carried over from our military origins. It’s why we support active duty service members and veterans, prioritize veteran hiring, and advocate for individual liberty and personal responsibility.
We do not support legal advocacy efforts. We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.
We believe in the integrity of the legal justice system, and support law enforcement officials.
We’re grateful for the continued support of the Black Rifle Coffee community and eager to continue serving those who serve.
I hope people on the right who are upset with the company will consider the facts here. Personally, I hate coffee and know very little about the company, other than seeing their brands at my local gun range. But I would hate for a good company, who was simply trying to protect their brand, to be the subject of a boycott over a misunderstanding.