HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) – A Hartsville man wasn't happy when the popular cooler maker YETI appeared to cut ties with the National Rifle Association.
So, he decided to take his frustration out on his YETI cooler by blowing it up.
Bryan Atkinson posted a Facebook Live video to his page on Monday that shows him destroying a YETI cooler that was full of Tannerite, a brand of patented explosive targets.
"There's the famous YETI. There's the famous 22 pounds of Tannerite. This YETI ain't ready," Atkinson said in the video.
Two men load the cooler into a truck and take it far out into a field. Atkinson then uses a rifle to blow up the cooler, creating a large plume of white smoke.
"YETI can't stand behind the NRA, I ain't standing behind YETI no more," Atkinson said.
WARNING: The video contains graphic language.
The NRA sent a letter to its members stating that "suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why."
Atkinson's demonstration came roughly a week after he first expressed concerns over YETI on social media. Out of those discussions, Monday's protest was born.
He said some of his friends are thinking about doing a similar demonstration, but will give Hartsville a break and blow up their coolers somewhere else in the Pee Dee.
Atkinson's protest caught the attention of the Hartsville Police Department. A post on the department's social media page encouraged those with "excess Yeti Coolers to blow up, instead; feel free to donate them to the police department, where we can use them to store cold water and sports drinks for our officers during the summer months."
YETI responded to the claims in a post on its Facebook page. In that statement, the company states it notified the NRA and other organizations that they were eliminating a group of "outdated discounting programs."
"When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations of this change, YETI explained that we were offering them an alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation. These facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement the NRA-ILA distributed on April 20," the statement read in part.