New England

Patriots Fan Invites Town to Burn Jerseys Over Anthem Protests

Sitting in the stands on Sunday, Mark Shane couldn't believe what he was seeing as he watched several New England Patriots players kneel during the National Anthem.

"I had a sick stomach, I couldn't even sleep Sunday night," Shane said.

By Monday, Shane had an idea. He went to a nearby sign store and decided to host a gathering on Thursday outside his Swansea home. The purpose: To burn any and all Patriots jerseys.

"I thought the organization was above this. This is the best - we felt like this was the best - organization in sports, and for them to allow that was a disgrace to our fans," he said.

By Tuesday evening, Shane's yard was turning into quite a production, complete with lights, folding chairs, and a fire pit.

"We expect better from Belichick, we expect better from the owner, Robert Kraft, this guy, they are above all this, they shut their mouths, we stay above this kind of garbage," he said. "For Robert Kraft to allow this to happen is a disappointment, these are paid employees. I can't get up at my job and I don't like my country, and I'm upset about racial equality, or whatever their cause is, we don't care what their cause is, to us, this is about the flag and disrespecting people."

Swansea Town Administrator John McAuliffe said Shane came in Monday looking for a permit for the event.

"We don't have a permit process for that type of demonstration. I think it is an issue if he is going to light things on fire, something the Fire Chief will likely be looking into to make it safe for all," McAuliffe said.

The town's police chief said he planned to meet with Shane on Wednesday morning to discuss logistics for the event.

Not everyone in Patriots Nation loves Shane's idea.

"A little bit foolish, to be honest with you. To have that kind of animosity," one man said. "To burn jerseys, that's almost as bad as burning the flag."

"I don't support him, I support the Patriots," another fan said.

But Shane is not deterred.

"Their name is the New England Patriots! Their colors are red, white, and blue. It is embarrassing - it is embarrassing! - to be from New England right now," he said.

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