Charlton, MA - A Massachusetts jewelry business has been caught in the crossfire of the recent issue regarding NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem.

Garieri Jewelers, located in Sturbridge, recently purchased a billboard located in Charlton displaying a man getting down on one knee to propose to a woman on a football field. The billboard reads: “If you’re going to take a knee this season, please have a ring in your hand!” The public is not thrilled with the choice of words owner Scott Garieri chose.

In response to angered citizens, Scott Garieri stated that he needed to use a slogan that would catch people’s attention during the 3 to 5-second bulletin posting. Unfortunately, he has received a little too much attention regarding the matter.

The one thing Garieri didn’t keep in mind when choosing this slogan was what it would do to protesters. Because of President Trump’s recent lash out at Nike’s new Colin Kaepernick ads, NFL players have been kneeling while the national anthem is sung to protest racial injustice. Garieri’s use of the phrase “taking a knee” has really triggered said protesters.

In response yet again to angered citizens, Garieri claims the slogan was not intentionally chosen. In fact, it was seen as a nice play on words, not a target to those standing up for their rights.

Some citizens did find the billboard amusing, but others went straight to social media to state their opinions. Some critics stated that Garieri’s Jewelers is a racist, bigoted company. One critic went as far as to say his daughter should go kill herself.

What’s worse is that this is not the first time Garieri has purchased a billboard that caused uproar. Last year’s rendition read: “Make her speechless...For a change.”

One driver came forward to state his opinion on this year’s billboard, claiming that “taking a knee” is an extremely serious topic; it’s not something to be taken lightly or to be joked about.

Garieri has decided not to take the billboard down until after football season.