Utah-based coffee company addresses connection to Kenosha shooter

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FILE – In this Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, file photo, Kyle Rittenhouse carries a weapon as he walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha, Wis., during a night of unrest following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake. In a document filed Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020, defense attorneys say sending Rittenhouse, accused of killing two protesters days after Jacob Blake was shot by police in Kenosha, Wis., to stand trial in Wisconsin would “turn him over to the mob.” (Adam Rogan/The Journal Times via AP, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) — Black Rifle Coffee Company, a veteran-owned and operated company based in Salt Lake City, addressed social media posts claiming sponsorship of Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old charged in the fatal shooting of two men during a protest in Wisconsin.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Elijah Schaffer, a reporter for The Blaze, tweeted Rittenhouse’s since-removed image wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company shirt with the caption, “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.” with an accompanying discount code for the coffee company.

“We do not support legal advocacy efforts. We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI,” reads a statement on the Black Rifle Coffee Company website.

Speculation from viewers then started claiming Black Rifle Coffee Company was sponsoring Rittenhouse.

Black Rifle Coffee Company CEO Evan Hafer took to social media, saying they did not sponsor Rittenhouse. “There has been a lot of miss information, a lot of hearsay and speculation thrown out there,” Hafer said.

“I wanted to make sure everybody knew we would not profit from this,” Hafer continued, saying it would be “ethically inappropriate” to profit from tragedy.

Black Rifle Coffee Company said they did not end their marketing relationship with Blaze Media. “We believe in what they put out. We believe in that relationship,” said Hafer.

Tyler Cardon CEO of Blaze Media took to social media saying, “We have been assured by Black Rifle Coffee that our longstanding advertising partnership continues unchanged. We love the coffee and always appreciate their support.”

Schaffer is also the host of the “Slightly Offens*ve” podcast. Even though the company chose to continue its relationship with Blaze Media there are conflicting reposts regarding whether or not the Black Rifle Coffee Company will terminate its marketing relationship with the podcast.

ABC4 News has reached out for clarity on the termination of sponsorship with “Slightly Offens*ve” and have not heard back. Clarification on the current relationship between the “Slightly Offens*ve” podcast and the company will be updated when information is made available.

Black Rifle Coffee Company is a veteran-owned coffee company serving premium coffee committed to supporting veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. With every purchase made, the company gives back. “Black Rifle Coffee Company is quite literally the combination of my two favorite passions. I take pride in the coffee we roast, the veterans we employ, and the causes we support,” said Hafer.

“The Black Rifle brand is a symbol of service, of strength, and of goodness that has carried over from our military origins. It’s why we support active duty service members and veterans, prioritize veteran hiring, and advocate for individual liberty and personal responsibility,” as stated on the Black Rifle Coffee Company website.

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