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A lifelong New England Patriots fan who hosted a jersey burning protest in his yard Thursday night has been issued four citations totalling $400 by town officials.
Mark Shane of Swansea, Massachusetts, organized the event after several Patriots players kneeled during the National Anthem on Sunday.
More than 75 people took part, even though Swansea Fire Chief Eric Hajder had warned that it was illegal to burn anything other than clean wood in the town. The fire department confirmed Friday that Shane was cited for violating the open burning regulation.
“I think it was a great success,” Shane said Thursday. “I think people were united, I think people love our country, and I think it sends a great message to the NFL and any divisive-type actions will not be tolerated.”
As Swansea police officers looked on from across the street, Shane said a few words before tossing a Patriots Super Bowl jersey and T-shirts into the fire pit.
Shane said he was only throwing a few items into the fire after the town’s fire chief warned that the event could be illegal. Most of the shirts, jerseys and other Patriots gear that people brought were instead placed in boxes, and were expected to be donated.
Before the crowd left, Shane led the attendees in a rendition of the national anthem and urged them to boycott future NFL games and not to buy any new merchandise.