Johnson City Honda offers vehicles to ETSU coaches through a loan program. The dealership owner, Joe Trujillo, says he reclaimed vehicles from Coach Shay and his assistant coaches following their show of support of players kneeling during the national anthem. Trujillo retrieved the cars a few days after a picture surfaced online of players kneeling at a game against Chattanooga in February.
It wasn't long before ETSU President Brian Noland visited Trujillo.
"Brian Noland came in here Saturday or so after the game and we talked about it. I told Noland I wasn't going anywhere. I'm going to support ETSU and I always will. I will not support the kneeling but there's 14,000 students there that want education and I'm not going to abandon them," Trujillo said.
Even though Trujillo disagrees with players kneeling during the anthem, he will continue sponsoring the university. He believes there's other ways to shed light on injustices in America.
"I just don't agree with the platform of kneeling during the anthem. Is there injustice? Absolutely there is. If they want to take a knee before or after I'm the first one there," Trujillo said.
"My dad served 30 years in the United States Army," Trujillo said. "We're a military family. The flag... means a lot to me."
Trujillo is on the ETSU foundation board. He says Johnson City Honda wasn't involved in Shay's resignation.
The official Honda Twitter account saw this story and tweeted the following:
A demonstration in support of Coach Shay and the ETSU men's basketball team is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. along State of Franklin Road in Johnson City. The event will be hosted by the NAACP, New Generation Freedom Fighters, New Panther Initiative and Tennessee/Virginia Mutual Aide.
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