Bill Berger, owner and operator of the charter boat Southern Rock, told Newsmax on Friday that his boat was disqualified from a boating competition for displaying ''Let's go Brandon'' and ''FJB'' after ''pressure from the left.''
''My boat was best in show to the crowd,'' Berger told WFLA on Thursday. ''They had the awards ceremony, and they presented me winning the best in show, and 48 hours later, I got the phone call I was disqualified. They said my boat was too political.''
The phrase ''Let's go Brandon'' gained prominence after an NBC reporter incorrectly attributed the chant to a NASCAR crowd while interviewing driver Brandon Brown on Oct. 3. The crowd was really saying ''F**k Joe Biden,'' now abbreviated as ''FJB.''
''I informed them on Wednesday what my theme was, and nobody said anything,'' Berger said. ''We decorated the boat, went over to the parade, and went through the judges twice.''
Berger told ''Eric Bolling: The Balance'' that the boat parade in Yorktown, Virginia, is known for controversial themes. The parade has featured boats with messages related to 9/11 and professional athletes kneeling while the national anthem was being played, Berger said.
''I've seen other things out in the parade prior to this ... [the] twin towers, [Colin] Kaepernick kneeling. For the guy to say this has never happened before, it's sort of misleading the public,'' Berger said. ''I went with a current event. I grabbed a theme — my crew was terrific. There was no profanity.''
Berger added that the competition is measured on three things — ''spirit, lights and 'wow!''' — and he believes he fulfilled all three.
The Yorktown Foundation, which operates the lighted boat parade, clarified to WAVY that it stripped the award for an ''overt political message'' in a statement.
''The event organizers immediately notified the judges that the boat would be disqualified because its political statements were at odds with the mission of the Foundation,'' the statement read.
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