An incident at a Bojangles in Charlotte, North Carolina, following a Trump rally last week — ironically hosted at the nearby Bojangles’ Coliseum — has gained national attention after a Trump supporter’s Facebook post circulated widely online, prompting multiple reports and one shift manager parting ways with the company.
Following another jam-packed Trump rally involving about 10,000 of his supporters on Monday evening, a group of rally-goers decided to grab something to eat at a Bojangles restaurant about a 10-minute walk away. But the supporters found the restaurant’s doors locked with the explanation from several others locked outside that the employees would not serve Trump supporters. One of the people locked out took some photos of the moment and posted his account online.
“Bojangles locked the doors to the Trump rally last night and denied service,” Trump supporter Michael Furick posted on Facebook, along with photos from the incident, including one of a Bojangles employee inside holding his hand up.
After noting that the fast food chain’s apparent decision to keep them out was “ironic” because of the venue for the rally, Furic directed a message to the chain. “[Bojangles] this is pretty distasteful,” he wrote. “I walk up to the door and people are gathered around and stated they would not serve [T]rump supporters.”
Bojangles locked the doors to the Trump rally last night and denied service . Ironic because the rally was at Bojangles…
Posted by Michael Furick on Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Furick’s claim inspired a couple of local new outlets to look into the issue, including WCNC Charlotte, which spoke to him about the incident.
When he found the doors locked, Furick said, he asked some of the other two-dozen or more people initially standing outside why the doors were locked despite the store still being open.
“I said, ‘Hey, why’s the door locked?’ Guy in a wheelchair says, ‘They’re not serving MAGA supporters,” Furick told WCNC Charlotte. “They had said we had trashed the place earlier.'”
But Furick said when he looked into the restaurant to see if there was any merit to the claim, he “only saw a small pile of debris,” WCNC reports.
“If you don’t want me there, you’re not going to offend me,” Furick said. “It’s not like ‘Bojangles’, you broke me.’ You’re not gonna break me — you know what I’m saying? I’m not Kathy Griffin. You know what I mean, you ain’t gonna break me.”
Furick also admitted to raising his middle finger to the employee who is seen in the photo holding up his hand in a “stop” gesture.
In response, a Bojangles’ spokesperson issued a statement to WCNC claiming that the shift manager simply “made a bad decision” because the staff was “overwhelmed with a large number of guests.” The company also noted that when the manager’s boss showed up, the doors were promptly opened.
“Bojangles’ welcomes all guests to enjoy our Southern food and hospitality,” the company said in the statement. “Earlier this week, the store near the Bojangles’ Coliseum was overwhelmed with a large number of guests, and as a result, a young shift manager made a bad decision to close the dining room. The drive-thru remained open. About 30 minutes later, the dining room reopened, and all guests waiting were served. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
In an update to its initial report on the incident, The Charlotte Observer revealed last week that the shift manager “is no longer employed” at Bojangles. “It’s unclear whether the manager involved was fired or voluntarily left,” the outlet notes.
To make matters worse for the company, another post about a similar politically charged incident at a different North Carolina location, this time in Harrisburg, made the rounds online last week, as both the Observer and WCNC point out. Customers at the restaurant reported seeing a sign outside reading, “No one allowed in store wearing Trump hats or shirts. You will be asked to leave.”
A spokesperson for the company quickly corrected the record, explaining that the sign “was posted by a customer not a Bojangles’ employee.” “As soon as it was discovered it was removed,” the spokesperson said. “Again, that sign was not put up by a Bojangles’ employee. Bojangles’ welcomes ALL customers.”
While the fast food chain appears to working to send a clear message to its employees, Furick suggested to WCNC that the incident represents a larger issue. “It’s not all about the Bojangles’,” he said. “It’s about every company and corporation that sits there and tries to tell us what we need to say, what we need to wear. You’re not gonna serve us? Yeah, you are, or you’re gonna get rolled over.”
H/T Hot Air