Little league jersey featuring gun shop causes controversy - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Little league jersey featuring gun shop causes controversy

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Some Bedford parents are outraged over the jerseys made for their children's baseball team. The jerseys say "Todd's Guns" and promote an area gun shop in Bedford.

The coach says he doesn't feel comfortable with his 6-year-old playing in the jersey, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

The Bedford 3-B baseball jerseys display an advertisement for a local gun shop.

"I didn't notice it at first," says coach Barry Walters. "I was checking for the names as I was passing out the jerseys, and I noticed on the front of it, below The Cubs, it says Todd's Guns, and, to be honest, I got angry. I was very angry."

Walters is a coach for the team, and his son is a player. He believes the jerseys will send the wrong message to his players.

"I don't understand how I could put this on my 7-year-old's body," he says. "His body is not a billboard, and he doesn't need to promote guns, especially in the wake of what happened in Connecticut. It's not the proper time or place.

Meanwhile, the owner of Todd's Guns, Todd Bruning, says he believes the jerseys don't promote violence, just a local business that supports the Bedford community.

Bruning has two boys on the team.

"They got the uniforms last night," he says. "All the kids were happy, and then my boys seen Todd's Guns on there, and they just went crazy. They are showing all of their little friends. ‘Oh look it's my dad's shop! That's my dads shop!' And that is what I wanted."

Todd says what he didn't want is all of the drama, when his only intention was to support his sons' team.

"I like guns, you don't. So be it. I am not here to change your mind. You don't like guns, I do. You're not changing my mind. Let's leave it at that," he says. "People have to understand this money is for the kids."

Friday the vice president of the 3-B baseball team sent this statement to 13abc:

"3-B baseball relies on sponsorship and concession revenue to break even. We have never discriminated against any local business or organization in the past regarding sponsorships." 

Walters says he and his son will show up to Saturday's game, but they will cover up the logo.

The leaders of Bedford's little league say they will provide jerseys without the sponsor's name to any player who would like a replacement.

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