NOCONA (KFDX/KJTL)— The owner of Fenoglio Boot Company said a threat was received from a university professor because the company’s sponsorship of the Republican State Convention caught him off guard and perplexed him.
James Fenoglio said he received a phone call and email stating they’d face a boycott for being a sponsor of the Republican State Convention which was to be held in Houston but was canceled by the mayor for COVID-19 concerns.
On July 7, the company received an email from Lamar University Sociology Professor Jennifer Fagen.
According to the email, Fagen said there is a movement to boycott the company’s products if they continue to sponsor the convention.
Also in the email, Fagen warns that they will likely be receiving thousands of calls and letters.
She also said if the hospitals are overrun with COVID-19 cases, people die or get sick and we are forced into another shutdown, blood will be on their hands.
The company contacted the university in Beaumont and said they were offered an apology, but the university found no fault or violation with any policy in the message being sent with the professor’s university email.
A statement from a university spokesperson states the professor’s statements are nonwork-related and constitutionally protected.
It also states the university has a policy on the use of university information technology and listing the professor’s university email address does not violate the policy.
Fenoglio said they support the Republican Party and planned to be a vendor at both the state and national conventions.
He said his 19-year-old cousin took the phone call warning of them being bombarded with thousands of phone calls and emails and they would have blood on their hands if they continued the sponsorship.
He said he was curious if the professor thought his small company would withdraw its sponsorship in response to the threat.
He added the company has worked hard to build a name and provide jobs during the shutdown.