NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — Buffalo Wild Wings has fired the employees involved in an alleged racially-charged incident at a Naperville location.
The incident went viral on Facebook.
Mary Vahl was part of a group of 12 children and six adults who went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Naperville a week ago Saturday after the children’s basketball game.
She said a Buffalo Wild Wings employee told her husband, Justin, that two diners — a man and woman who they were told regularly frequent the restaurant — did not want to sit next to the group of 18 “because he’s “racist.”” The group of 18 was multiracial.
The employee seated the group at two tables not far the couple. Shortly after, Mary claims another Buffalo Wild Wings employee approached the adults in the party to say a seating mistake had been made and their tables were reserved for another group. The group left soon after.
On Sunday, Buffalo Wild Wings said the employees involved had been fired.
“We take this incident very seriously and after conducting a thorough, internal investigation have terminated the employees involved,” Buffalo Wild Wings said in statement. “Buffalo Wild Wings values an inclusive environment and has zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”
“It’s 2019. We’re supposed to be past this,” Marcus Riley, the children’s basketball coach, told CBS 2 about the group’s experience at Buffalo Wild Wings. He said as they were leaving the restaurant, the employee who had seated them had tears in his eyes and a patron stood up to hug members of the group.
Three of the children in the group spoke with CBS 2. “No one should experience what we experienced that day with racism,” said Mary and Justin’s son, Ethan, who is 9. His teammate K.J. Miller, 11, agreed, telling CBS 2, he thinks the company “could do more.” Dereon Smothers, 10, said the experience has been on his mind since Saturday.