SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah-based coffee company is quashing any supposed connection with or sponsorship of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is accused of killing two people during protests in Wisconsin in August, after a photo of the teen wearing a shirt with the company's logo was shared on social media.
Black Rifle Coffee Company responded after the host of a podcast which the company sponsors tweeted a discount code for the coffee along with the photo.
“Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America," Elijah Schaffer, host of Blaze Media's "Slightly Offens*ve," wrote in the now-deleted tweet.
A Black Rifle spokeswoman initially told The Salt Lake Tribune that the company was ending its sponsorship of the podcast. However, she later clarified her comments, saying she misunderstood.
“We are not fluctuating our ad spend,” she told the Tribune in a text message. “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”
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.”
The company did, however, officially state that it does not sponsor and does not have any direct connection with Rittenhouse, who was released Friday after supporters raised his $2 million bail.
“We do not support legal advocacy efforts,” Black Rifle co-founder Evan Hafer said in a statement. “We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.”
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The same photo shared by another Twitter user:
FREE AT LAST!!!
From L to R:
Attorney John Pierce @CaliKidJMP
THE KYLE RITTENHOUSE
Actor Ricky Schroder @rickyschroder13
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) November 21, 2020