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.
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.”
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