Upon finishing a racial tirade with a can of Twisted Tea, Barry Allen became a viral sensation. Heavy was told by the 30-year-old father of five, known as “TeaKO” or the “Twisted Tea Guy,” that he is grateful for the support he got and hopes to see positive change in the country continue.
Barry Allen became a viral sensation after he ended a racist rant with a can of Twisted Tea. The 30-year-old father of five, known as “TeaKO” or the “Twisted Tea Guy,” told Heavy he is grateful for the support he’s received, and hopes to see a continuation of positive change in the country.
“When my kids grow up – even as teenagers – I don’t want them to be afraid that something will happen to them because of the color of their skin. That’s not fair,” Heavy said. “Hopefully, when they’re teenagers, they won’t have to worry about that. It’s a beautiful country and the country is already changing.”
A video posted on Twitter on Dec. 24 went viral and showed a white man in Circle K in Elyria, Ohio, shouting and using racial slurs. Allen said he was telling the guy to stop using the “N-word,” but he said it all the time. Allen dropped a can of Twisted Tea, and the man kicked it at that point and said, “Hit me with it.” The man was punched by Allen and knocked off his feet.
JeeeeeeZUS LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO pic.twitter.com/2P76jlT0sf
— Terence (@terencessb) December 24, 2020
Here’s what you need to be conscious of:
1. Allen was surprised that the video went viral and spoke about the off-camera moments.
Allen said that in the video, he immediately noticed the white man, who was not identified, when he walked into Circle K. He said he looked heavily intoxicated, and he could smell alcohol on him.
“He was really really drunk. You could smell the beer reeking off him before I got too close to him,” he said.
Before the video started, the other man used the N-word against two workers who were black. He could see the workers were unhappy, but since they were working, they were unable to challenge him. Before he got to the register, he hoped the man would go.
— Mauricio💎 (@mauricesims1) December 26, 2020
“When I got my stuff and got to the register, he was still there,”When I got my things and got to the register, he was still there.
The man was asked by Allen to stop using the term, but he kept saying it.
“He said he could say whatever he wanted. He said he was from the neighborhood.”
When the man said, “F*** yo momma.” the altercation escalated further. Allen said his mother died two years ago on the day after Christmas.
“So this was still a touchy thing for me,” he said.
On the phone with Twisted Tea dude! Mr. TeaKO, Barry Allen joins me. https://t.co/jVF3i4DYiV
— Eric Zane Show Podcast (@ericzaneshow) January 2, 2021
He said, at that moment, he wanted that man to fight, but he held back. Then he dropped the tea can, he said, and the man kicked it.
“He didn’t back down at that point. Now I am ready to fight. The can was already in my hand, so that was kind of enough,” he said.
He said the man was trying to scratch his face, which caused him to punch the man. He backed away, but the man continued to fight.
He’s still ready to go, so I started to choke him and try to calm him down. That’s why I said, “He’s still ready to go, so I started choking him and trying to calm him down. That’s why I said, ‘Are you OK now?”
He said that he saw the woman recording the video after the video ended. If he had known that he was being filmed, he would not have struck the man, he said. But, he said, she gave him a high-five. Then he went to buy another Twisted Tea, and before he left, the man followed and insulted him, he said.
He went to the car to call his wife and tell her what happened, Allen said.
He recalled, “She said, ‘Yeah, I know. I’m watching it,'”
The video had roughly 5,000 views by the time he drove the two blocks home.
2. He has epilepsy and two wounded shoulders, Allen said, and avoids battles.
Allen has said that he’s a guy who avoids fighting.
“I’m just a family person. I’m not a violent guy, as the video shows.”
He has epilepsy and, he said, is “technically disabled,”
“I’m actually not even able to take a full swing because both of my shoulders are dislocated,” he said.
Allen said that he himself did not see the video until the next day. He was called by his older brother and asked him about it. The next day, his older brother called and chuckled at the video. He said he expected a knock on the door from the police at that point, thinking he was going to be arrested for assault.
Allen said he spoke with his cousin, a former police officer, who said no one was going to file charges. Elyria Police Lt. James Welsh told The Chronicle on Dec. 24 that he was aware of the viral video, but no one reported it to the police.
3rd Allen said his hometown of Elyria, Ohio is diverse & he wants to end the “N-word” with the takeaway from the video
Allen hopes it will provide a warning for those who use racial slurs, with millions of people around the world watching the Sick Tea Smackdown footage.
“It wasn’t about the can or anything. It was about the fact that he felt comfortable saying the word,” he said. “It’s not OK.”
He said that it was far from the first time the word was used against him, but that when asked, people generally stop.
“The hatred behind it, particularly with all that happened last year, was really a sensitive topic,” he said, “I’m not a fan of the ‘N-word’ being thrown out.
He is Elyria’s lifelong resident. He said his hometown is very diverse and that the people he has seen using the slur are mostly elderly people “still stuck in their old ways”
“I just want that word to be eliminated from everyone’s vocabulary. There are words we don’t use anymore, so that should be one of them,” he said. “That word, particularly in that tone of voice, just hurts my soul. “If there is anything to take away from the video, it’s that.”
He said he hopes his children will grow up in a world where the word is abolished. He has five children, daughters aged 11 and 9, and three sons aged 7, 6, and 2. After his video went viral, he was married to his wife for four years, who became his defacto agent and manager.
4. He is grateful for the love of those who call him a hero, Allen said.
Allen said that he was overwhelmed by the positive support and that he was called a hero by people.
“I never thought in my life that anyone but my kids would call me that,” he said.
He said people wanted to speak to him, meet him, and ask for pictures of him with a can of Twisted Tea or his autograph on a can of Twisted Tea.
“It really means a great deal to me. That’s a very nice feeling. It’s too much to take in. I’ve never had a rush on my social media pages like I do now,” he said. “While I’m just a 30-year-old hanging out with his kids, I feel like I’m some kind of celebrity.
He can hardly keep up with the social media flood of news, and he said he wants everyone to know he’s thankful. He’s trying to keep up with the news and he said he doesn’t want anybody to feel slighted.
Allen said the fame always appears to be unreal.
I still haven’t realized that it’s true. I feel like every day I wake up and it’s all going to be a fantasy,” he said. “I’m really excited about that. I can’t thank everyone enough for that.
5. Silas, Allen’s seven-year-old son, has a medical condition and a family friend started a GoFundMe for a wheelchair truck.
Allen’s 7-year-old son, Silas, has a medical disorder that was discovered when he was 4 months old, called malrotation.
“My 7-year-old son was born with all his organs in the wrong place,” Allen said. “When they put them in the right place, a lot of things didn’t wake up the way they were supposed to.”
An adapted bike was designed by an individual in Massachusetts over the summer. State troopers in both states delivered the bike to the Ohio family and recorded it on camera.
“It was an incredible moment,” he said.