Boat Parade Winner With 'Let's Go Brandon' Theme Stripped of Honor (Getty Images)
By Charlie McCarthy | Thursday, 09 December 2021 12:31 PM
A boat decorated with anti-President Joe Biden slogans was stripped of its "Best in Show" title shortly after the Virginia contest for being too political.
Bill Berger captained the winning boat at Saturday's Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade with a display that included large lighted signs that said "FJB" and "Lets go Brandon" – phrases derisive toward Biden.
"When we left, we were declared the winner," Berger told WTKR.
"[Then] 48 hours later it was stripped from us, and I think it's from pressure."
A member of the Yorktown Foundation board of directors issued a statement saying the boat had been disqualified "because its political statements were at odds with the mission of the Foundation."
"As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Yorktown Foundation and its sub-ordinate groups are apolitical," board member Dr. Walt Akers said in a statement.
"On December 4th, 2021, several members of the Foundation’s Board of Directors were made aware that a boat with an overt political message had participated in the Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade, and that the judges had awarded it first place. In discussions with the event organizers, they explained that they were equally perplexed that the boat had won and they took immediate corrective actions."
Berger said he had been clear on his parade entry application that his theme would be "Let’s Go Brandon."
"I think our message got across," Berger told WTKR.
"We have a horrible president. Is [the phrase] inappropriate? In today's world, I don't think so."
Akers admitted to WTKR that Berger's boat earned loud cheers from a large crowd. He added that he didn’t think the judges at the time knew what the message meant.
"It was very well lit, it was a beautiful boat," Akers told WTKR. "The guy did a great display. If it wasn't just for this political issue, I think the guy would have had a very good chance. The crowd was very responsive to it, and I think it's possible the judges may have responded to the crowd activity."
The "Let’s Go Brandon" chant has been heard at sports events and elsewhere after NASCAR driver Brandon Brown, won his first race. While Brown was being interviewed after the victory, at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, fans chanted "F**k Joe Biden" in protest of his presidency but the NBC Sports reporter asking questions said the chants said "Let's Go Brandon."