A Canadian man who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat was denied service at a popular seafood restaurant, forcing the manager to step in.
Darin Hodge, the floor manager of the restaurant, spotted the man the “MAGA” hat on Tuesday, and he was allegedly told to take the hat off or leave the establishment, the CBC reported.
This prompted action from Andy Crimp, the restaurant’s general manager, who later told CBC News that Hodge “took over the table and requested that he take the hat off.” Crimp added that the man said that “he had a right to wear it. [Hodge] said if you don’t take the hat off, we won’t serve you. And the man left.”
Hodge was fired by The Sequoia Company, which owns the seafood restaurant.
“We don’t discriminate against people based on political beliefs,” said Crimp. “[Hodge] was aware what he was doing was probably contrary to our values and our philosophy as a company in terms of hospitality and inclusiveness.”
Hodge wrote on Facebook that he was standing up to alleged bigotry. “I had to take a stand against this guest’s choice of headwear while in my former place of work. Absolutely no regrets,” he wrote in the post.
On Yelp, the restaurant was pilloried with one-star reviews and criticism for the refusal of service to the “MAGA” hat-wearing man.
“Pathetic intolerance and bigotry,” wrote Eric H. of Youngsville, North Carolina, on Yelp, according to the Vancouver Sun. “A naive manager that cannot decipher #fakenews from reality refuses to serve a patron because of a political hat. Horrible place of business.”
Other people left five-star reviews after they learned Hodge was fired.
“Great place to eat and well done handling the bigotry of one manager,” said another person on the review app. “If all are welcome, then all are welcome.”
It comes after the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, was condemned by President Donald Trump for refusing service to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.