by Karen Mehall Phillips, Director of Communications, NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum - Monday, October 19, 2020
No doubt most American hunters know the name Kendall Jones, the NRA Life member and Texas Tech cheerleader who, in 2014 at age 19, became the center of a social media firestorm after posting photos with her African game animals on Facebook. As the youngest person to have taken Africa’s Big Five and Dangerous Seven, she boldly grasped the spotlight to stand up for hunters, tell the truth about legal, regulated hunting and counter the cultural attacks being waged on us all. In 2018, readers who attended the 4th Annual NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) Dinner in conjunction with the 147th NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas heard this fellow hunter address and inspire the crowd. If you’re wondering what she has been up to since, NRAHLF.org is proud to share that this young woman has continued to make a mark in promoting our all-American hunting traditions and today serves as a brand ambassador for Riton Optics.
In the face of liberal extremists’ “cancel culture” movement, Jones remains an inspiration showing that taking a stand for what is right is just that: right. Like many readers who attended that NRA HLF dinner, I vividly recall Jones’ remarks as she shared how animal rights extremists attacked her family and friends and relived how 175,000 of them signed a petition to ban her from Africa and kick her out of Texas Tech University and off its cheerleading team. As reported by the NRA HLF website, she said, “I was the only athlete on the field with a personal bodyguard. If I was old enough to hunt, I was old enough to be hunted down. It’s unimaginable. All I did was go hunting.”
Inspiring everyone in the room, she emphasized, “The only way to beat us [hunters] is to divide us. What’s your plan for hunting? What’s our plan for hunting?” Her answer: Invest in education, social media outlets and in getting to know our youth because “the world has changed, and the liberals are not holding back.”
Now as part of the Riton Optics team, Jones continues to shed awareness on hunting’s role in wildlife conservation and that hunter safety and responsibility underscore everything we hunters do. She continues to address crowds of fellow hunters and young women on the need to take a stand to protect our beliefs and our American freedoms.
“We’re excited to have Kendall join the Riton team of Ambassadors,” shared Calley Carpenter, the company’s director of marketing. “Beyond being a strong advocate for the outdoors and conservation, Kendall has a vibrant personality that fits well with our Riton team.”
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