A Tucson restaurant has been forced to close indefinitely after a pro-Trump, pro-flag social media post resulted in violent threats against the owners and its customers, KNXV-TV (Phoenix) is reporting.
It goes without saying that these are divisive times in America. You’ll find few Americans who are neutral, for example, about President Trump: you either love him or hate him. Similarly, the matter of pro (and amateur) athletes declining to stand for the national anthem has drawn some pretty heated rhetoric. Meanwhile, as the debate about police brutality rages on, many Americans are concerned about the supposed lack of respect for law enforcement.
Christopher Smith and Jay Warren, the owners of Cup It Up American Grill in Tucson, Arizona, decided that the time was right for them to say something on behalf of their business. In a lengthy Facebook post from the business’ account, the owners laid out a list of things they believed in and don’t believe in.
For example, the business owners stated that they believe that Donald Trump is the whole country’s president, they believe in standing for the national anthem, they support the police and military, and so on. They stated that they do not believe in big government, “fake news,” Antifa (a violent anti-communist group active in Europe), and so on.
This was the viral FB post that Cup It Up American Grill posted & deleted after backlash. Restaurant is closed indefinitely. (prior tweet) pic.twitter.com/o4847nNNjF
— Jennifer Martinez (@Jennymartineztv) October 10, 2017
Further, they noted that the restaurant would no longer show NFL games until the league “got it together” — which is to say, they started requiring players to stand for the anthem (something that the NFL won’t be doing, according to NFL.com).
The owners did not expect the backlash they received.
After receiving hateful responses and even threats of violence on their Facebook post, the restaurant deleted the post. But the threats didn’t stop there, says Ron Sanchez, whose granddaughter worked at the restaurant.
“People threatened to burn down the restaurant with the owners in it. It’s a crazy world we’re in.”
On Monday, the owners announced that they were closing the restaurant indefinitely, for the safety of its owners and employees.
“Dear Loyal fans and Patrons of Cup it Up American Grill,
We have made a decision to close our doors indefinitely as of today, Monday, October 9, 2017. The safety of our employees, and our families is of great concern and is our #1 priority at this time. We would also like to extend a special thanks to our Military and First responders. Thank you all and God Bless.”
It is not clear, as of this writing, when, or even if, the restaurant will reopen.
Mixing politics and business can be a dangerous game, as many restaurant owners have found out, to their detriment, after making political statements. Perhaps nowhere has this been more apparent than in the case of Indiana restaurant Memories Pizza.
As the Washington Times reported in 2015, after giving statements to local media indicating that they wouldn’t host a gay wedding, the owners found themselves at the center of a heated controversy over their stance. Owners Kevin and Crystal O’Connor found themselves the recipients of violent threats after their stance. After a few months, however, the controversy blew over, and the restaurant remains open to this day.
Do you think Cup It Up American Grill was in the wrong in posting pro-Trump and pro-flag statements on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by NYStudio/Thinkstock]