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Black Rifle Coffee Company had a ready response when the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys irked liberals over its partnership with the military veteran-backed coffee company, following a series of tragic mass shootings that put American gun ownership under a microscope.
The coffee company, which features images of guns and American flags on its packaging, works closely with veterans, law enforcement and first responders and is largely operated by veterans themselves. On Tuesday, the Cowboys announced a new partnership by tweeting, “#CowboysNation, please welcome America’s Coffee to America’s Team.”
However, some didn’t appreciate the Cowboys announcing a deal with a gun-themed coffee company on the heels of mass shootings in Highland Park, Ill., and Uvalde, Texas, including some liberal sports journalists.
A Cowboys beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called the team “tone deaf,” and the football team’s Twitter account was flooded with criticism that was highlighted across the media.
“Eighteen hours after the July 4 shooting in Illinois, the Dallas Cowboys announced a partnership with a company called Black Rifle Coffee, which sells a brand called AK Espresso,” sports business reporter Darren Rovell tweeted.
Left-wing sports site Deadspin fretted over the Cowboys showing a “shocking-yet-predictable level of self-awareness.”
The coffee company is pushing back on criticism by noting the good work it’s done since U.S. Army veteran Evan Hafer founded the company in 2014.
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“Last year we donated over $1.2M in cash to charitable organizations and $3M worth of coffee and products to active military and first responder units. Thus far, in 2022, the Black Rifle Coffee Company and the Black Rifle Coffee Fund have donated over a million dollars in cash, coffee and products to such organizations, including The Gary Sinise Foundation, Semper Fi Fund, Hunter Seven Foundation, Global War On Terror Memorial Fund, and the FDNY Foundation,” a Black Rifle Coffee Company spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
Retired NFL linebacker Jarret Johnson, a Black Rifle Coffee franchisee, also spoke out about the controversy.
“I’m proud to be a Black Rifle Coffee franchisee. My business partner is a special operations veteran and we both get a lot of satisfaction from being part of a company that does so much for the veteran community. It’s great to see the Cowboys supporting veterans by partnering with Black Rifle Coffee,” Johnson told Fox News Digital. “I’d love for more NFL teams to join them.”
Last month, President Biden signed into law the most sweeping gun control bill in nearly 30 years after two mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, left dozens dead within a week of each other. Since then, the July 4 mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park left seven dead and further intensified the national debate over gun control.
Hafer started Black Rifle Coffee in his Salt Lake City garage in 2014. Prior to that, he spent about 300 days a year, for a decade, deployed to some of the most remote and hostile regions of the world, with both the U.S. special forces and the CIA.
Today, Black Rifle Coffee is one of the most successful veteran-owned businesses in America.
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Fox News’ Kyle Morris and Matt London contributed to this report.