The Dallas Cowboys are facing a backlash after the football team announced a partnership with gun-themed coffee company a day after the deadly shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.
The company, Black Rifle Coffee, says it is veteran-owned and sells products with names including “Silencer Smooth Coffee Rounds,” “AK-47 Espresso Blend” and “Murdered Out Coffee Roast.”
“Please welcome America’s Coffee to America’s Team,” the Cowboys tweeted earlier this week with a video montage showing the team, coffee beans and a man wearing camouflage clothing drinking coffee.
The announcement set off criticism online, including from those who noted its poor timing a day after the Highland Park shooting, which left seven dead and wounded dozens more, and weeks after the Uvalde shooting that killed 21, including 19 children, at Robb Elementary School.
“This is such a dumb insensitive move on the wrong side of history,” one account tweeted. “This is the only team I’ve ever cheered for my entire life, despite letting me down for decades,” said another tweet. “But this is the line in the sand. I can’t support this. If the Cowboys don’t rescind this, I’m done.”
Others expressed their support, including one account that tweeted that said Black Rifle is veteran-owned and that people were getting mad over the company’s name without knowing anything about it.
“Great company with a great mission,” another tweeted.
In a statement, Black Rifle said the deal with the Cowboys had been in the works for a long time and “was timed to coincide with the Independence Day holiday.” A representative declined to respond when asked whether the company considered delaying the Cowboys announcement after the shootings.
The Dallas Cowboys did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner, had said in a statement when the team announced the partnership that the agreement represents the Cowboys’ support of the military and first responders.
On its website, Black Rifle Coffee says it was founded in 2014 and is committed to supporting veterans and first responders. “Black Rifle Coffee Company serves coffee and culture to people who love America,” the company’s bio reads.
The coffee company, which went public in February after a merger with a SPAC, also partners with NASCAR and the National Wild Turkey Federation, and athlete Travis Pastrana, according its website.
Black Rifle’s stock price hit a 52-week low of $6.62 on June 27 and opened Thursday at about $9.