Some of the vendors at the popular Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota are being criticized for selling biker gear with Nazi symbols on them.
According to ABC affiliate KOTA, some of the vendors at the Sturgis, South Dakota rally defended selling Nazi themed items as selling merchandise that the bikers want to buy.
Venders and bikers are claiming they are exercising their first amendment rights, reported KOTA.
There are multiple vendors at the event, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, who can be seen selling swastikas, SS symbols and the Confederate Flag.
Vendor Jenny Alonso defended the sale of the items, saying it was a “freedom thing.”
"A lot of bikers want to be free and voice their opinion and I like to cater to what they want. It doesn’t mean that I necessarily believe in everything but, you know, I like to please everybody,” she told KOTA.
She also defended the practice of bikers buying and wearing swastikas as going back to World War II when American soldiers brought back Nazi memorabilia from Europe and put it on their motorcycles.
Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman of Larchmont, New York disagreed, stating that the hate symbols do not fall under freedom of speech.
"That is a direct result of the Nazi regime murdering 13 million people, and it ultimately represents evil and hate,” he said in a statement.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has been held annually in Sturgis and the surrounding Black Hills region since 1938. It was started by a group of Indian Motorcycle riders to showcase stunts and races.