A racist sign at a Sonic Drive-In fast food restaurant in Belton, Missouri, has upset a number of customers. A picture of the offensive sign board was posted online this weekend. In response, the internet community exploded in an uproar over what appears to be slurs directed at Native Americans. Public apologies for the racist sign were released by a Sonic representative on Sunday who says that the sign’s message was “in poor taste.”
The offensive sign read: “‘KC CHIEFS’ WILL SCALP THE REDSKINS FEED THEM WHISKEY SEND – 2 – RESERVATION.” It has since been taken down. The message referred to the then-upcoming NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
In the restaurant chain’s public statement on the racist sign, they say that the message was done in “a misguided effort to support his football team,” because “an independent franchise owner allowed passion to override good judgment.”
The sign was only up for several hours before it was taken down, said the representative. Regardless of the intention of the restaurant’s owner and his employees, Sonic acknowledged that the posted message was “wrong, offensive, and unacceptable.”
Despite Sonic’s condemnation of the racist sign, the damage may have already been done. As the picture of the offensive sign circulated online, a number of people have said that they will no longer eat at Sonic in protest.
The identity of the sign’s author — apparently an employee — has not been made public. However, Sonic’s spokesperson says the responsible worker is still employed at the location, but that he or she is “very apologetic.”
This incident comes during an ongoing debate surrounding the Washington Redskins’ name. Many Americans and respected sports figures, such as Bob Costas, have called on the Washington NFL team to change its name to a less bigoted and racially offensive choice. Despite the increasing pressure being put on the team’s owner, Dan Snyder says he will never change the name.
Though the racist sign has been removed, it serves as yet another reminder of the continuing struggle to deal with racial bigotry in the US — whether in the form of an insensitive restaurant employee or a long-standing sports tradition.
[Image via Twitter / DelShilling]