Professional Bull Riders CEO Sean Gleason is outraged and says the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, would not allow a U.S Customs and Border Protection color guard to enter the building Friday night because the agents in the guard carried firearms.
On Saturday morning, Gleason used a Facebook post to share his outrage over the incident, writing, “I came within one minute of cancelling the first PBR performance of the Charlotte event and the first [Built Ford Tough Series] performance that would have been cancelled in our history.”
The fine men and women of the US Customs and Border Protection color guard and others working their recruitment booth were not allowed in the building. The building staff forced their booth to be moved to the plaza after it had already been set up inside where it belonged and the color guard had to stand outside at the security entrance for over an hour.
The building was not going to allow Federal Agents of the US government, in uniform, working in an official capacity and on the clock in to the building with their firearms. I was told that was building policy.
As Federal Agents working in an official capacity, they are not allowed to ‘surrender’ their firearms to anyone, especially a security guard working at an arena in Charlotte, NC!! That included the color guard who were presenting the American flag to our fans for the anthem.
What should have been a two minute conversation with the GM of the building turned into a 1 1/2 hour runaround involving lawyers and the most insane arguments and reasoning I have ever heard.
Gleason warned that if the same gun ban were used against the color guard Saturday night he would cancel the event without hesitation. He wrote, “If we have the same issues tonight — which I have been assured we won’t — the show WILL NOT GO ON. We won’t start a show without our sponsor, our color guard or the American flag.” But Sporting News reports that the armed color guard was allowed in the Spectrum Center on Saturday night and the event went forward without a glitch.
A PBR spokesman told Sporting News that the trouble they experienced at the Spectrum Center was a first for the organization. He said PBR had not previously “encountered a situation where an arena prevented entry to federal agents presenting our nation’s colors for the national anthem.”
The Charlotte city council owns the venue, which received heavy taxpayer subsidies from the city and the county during its construction.
Gleason stressed, “Unwavering support of the US military, and starting all PBR events with a proud and respectful presentation of the American flag and our national anthem, have been part of the sport’s DNA since it was founded.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.