Michigan Gun Shop Sponsorship of Little League Team Causes Uproar Among Parents

April 29 2013
by GSL Staff
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A father and gun shop owner in Michigan is in hot water with other parents in Bedford Township.

Todd Bruning, the owner of a local gun shop, Todd’s Guns, wanted to sponsor a little league team that both of his children play on.

The league is non profit and relies heavily on money from sponsorships to keep their teams outfitted.

However, once the jerseys arrived and had “Tom’s Guns” in small type underneath the much larger wording of “Cubs” on the front of the jersey, some parents were outraged.

According to GOPUSA.com,

Coach Barry Walters said he wouldn’t let his son wear the jersey. He disagrees with gun shop advertising with a kids’ team, especially after the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut that left dozens dead at the elementary school.

“Don’t use my kid as a billboard to promote guns,” he said.

Other parents thought the shirt was inappropriate. Carri Dively wasn’t at practice when the jerseys were distributed, but said she’s glad other parents have raised their concerns. Tom Rogroff said it would be different if the children were older; in adult leagues, players could have had a say in who sponsored the team.

The league says it doesn’t discriminate against sponsors as it badly needs to the money in order to allow children to play baseball.

However, the league is offering an option for parents who are upset:

League officials told parents they will pay to cover up “Todd’s Guns” if they object, and Mr. Bruning said he’s fine with that.

“I have no problem with it whatsoever,” he said. “If the parents don’t want guns on their shirt, just give them another shirt.”

Cubs parents said they were OK with the compromise too. The team’s season starts today.

Isn’t it a little hypocritical for people to gladly take this business owner’s money to help their kids play sports, but then complain when he does what every other little league advertiser does and puts his business name on their jerseys?

Feel free to go drop a line on Todd’s Guns Facebook page here:

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