A Northern California barbershop owner apologized Friday and said he has received death threats after a photograph of a hanging doll in his shop portraying former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was posted on social media, the Sacramento Bee reported Friday.
The photograph was taken inside the Bowtie Barbershop in downtown Placerville and depicts a Kaepernick doll hanging from the ceiling by a noose, KTXL reported.
The photograph was taken and shared by a man who wanted only to be known by his first name, Joseph.
"They got Colin Kaepernick hanging from a noose," he wrote on social media.
Kaepernick sparked controversy in 2016 when he began kneeling during the national anthem before NFL games to protest racial inequality and racial injustice.
The barbershop owner, known as “Bowtie Barber,” said Kaepernick had been hanging in effigy in his shop since 2016, the Bee reported.
“I want to speak out and publicly make an apology” the barber told the newspaper. He said he had taken the doll down.
"I literally had no idea that I was offending people," Barber told KTXL. "We have a hangman out here called George and so, you know, with the theme of hangtown I hung him. And it was wrong, it was absolutely wrong.”
The business’s Yelp page was flooded with one-star reviews Friday.
“Hogwash Racist Buffoon Bowtie Barbershop,” one comment said.
“For some reason the owner of this establishment thinks it’s amusing to hang a Colin Kaepernick doll by a noose. Offensive, racists, and just plain stupid,” according to another poster. “Boycott this business.”
The barber said he hung the doll as a reaction to Kaepernick’s pregame protest.
"I am a die-hard 49ers fan and when that action happened there was a lot portrayed on the 49ers and I took it personally," he told KTXL. "I’m publicly announcing that I apologize. It was the wrong thing for me to do. Absolutely will never happen again. I absolutely see the other side of it. I'm sorry.”