A lifelong New England Patriots fan who hosted a jersey burning protest in his yard Thursday night has been issued four citations totalling $400 by town officials.
Mark Shane of Swansea, Massachusetts, organized the event after several Patriots players kneeled during the National Anthem on Sunday.
More than 75 people took part, even though Swansea Fire Chief Eric Hajder had warned that it was illegal to burn anything other than clean wood in the town. The fire department confirmed Friday that Shane was cited for violating the open burning regulation.
"I think it was a great success," Shane said Thursday. "I think people were united, I think people love our country, and I think it sends a great message to the NFL and any divisive-type actions will not be tolerated."
Shane created signs for the event and set up his yard with lights, seats and a fire pit after Sunday’s game, saying beforehand the actions of nearly 20 Patriots players who knelt during the National Anthem were "embarrassing."
"For Robert Kraft to allow this to happen is a disappointment. These are paid employees," Shane said earlier this week. "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."
The kneeling protest came after President Donald Trump’s polarizing comments in regards to NFL players protesting the anthem. Players from teams across the country also joined in Sunday’s protest.
Among the Patriots who took a knee were Devin McCourty, Trey Flowers, Brandin Cooks, Brandon Bolden, James White and Malcolm Butler. Star quarterback Tom Brady could be seen linking arms with several players, including Philip Dorsett and Matthew Slater.
Shane said he'll forgive the Patriots if all the players stand Sunday. For now, no more jersey-burning events are planned.