Over the past year, the NFL has seen major controversy while playing the national anthem. Now, the controversy is trickling over outside of the stadium. A Buffalo Wild Wings in southern California is under fire thanks to one of their social justice warrior employees.
The incident occurred in Eastvale, California. During the Monday Night Football game on September 11, a BWW bartender muted the restaurant’s televisions during the national anthem. When customers complained, the employee said that it was “company policy” to not play the anthem. According to the employee, the franchise had deemed it “too controversial”.
A customer identified as “Lori” discussed her confusion:
No one understood what was so controversial. It’s 9/11, it’s a sporting event, why is it controversial?
She also noted the anthem had been played at the previous football game. Lori was fed up. On her social media account, Lori posted the employee’s face and described the incident. The post quickly picked up a lot of attention and outrage.
Eventually, both the manager and the company apologized.
From the official statement by Buffalo Wild Wings:
We apologize that Guests at the Eastvale, California location didn’t receive the positive sports viewing experience we strive to provide in all of our restaurants every day. This was the action of one individual and does not reflect our corporate practice. Our intent is to show game broadcasts in their entirety including the National Anthem, post-game interviews, and highlights.
Since the incident, the employee has thankfully been terminated.
CMO Joe Janaszek broke the news:
This gentleman [the employee at Eastvale], who no longer works for us, made the decision to turn the volume down during the national anthem…He claimed it was company policy, because it was too controversial. We don’t know why he did that, and we wish he hadn’t done it.
It is highly doubtful that Buffalo Wild Wings would have ever OK’ed such a move. Their CEO, Tom Cook, is a military veteran. Janaszek said Cook “could not be more disappointed” in what occured at one of his franchises.