Restaurant Manager Fired for Refusing to Serve Customer Wearing ‘MAGA’ Cap
A restaurant manager in Vancouver, Canada, has been fired after he refused service to a customer who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat.
Darin Hodge, former manager of the Teahouse in Stanley Park restaurant, told Global News in a statement that he asked a customer to take off their MAGA cap. When the customer refused to take his cap off, Hodge asked him to leave the restaurant.
“I stand by my decision to ask the patron to remove his hat,” Hodge said in his statement. “The MAGA hat has come to symbolize racism, bigotry, islamaphobia [sic], misogyny, white supremacy, homophobia. As a person with a strong moral backbone, I had to take a stand against this guest’s choice of headwear while in my former place of work.”
The red MAGA caps formed an important part of President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and are worn by many of his supporters.
Eva Gates, vice president of Human Resources for the Sequoia Group of Restaurants that owns the Teahouse, confirmed that the incident occurred on June 26.
“A gentleman came in wearing a hat that was a Make America Great Again hat, and our manager went up to the gentleman and asked him to take off his hat, that he wouldn’t serve him with that hat on,” Gates told the news station.
“And the gentleman said that he had a right to wear that hat. And [the manager] refused to serve him if he wouldn’t take off his hat, and so the customer had to leave.”
In another statement, the company said they had fired Hodge for violating the company’s “philosophy of tolerance.”
“Sequoia does not support intolerance of any kind, and it is because of these principles that we cannot discriminate against someone based on their support for the current administration in the United States or any other bona fide political party,” the company said in their statement.
In a similar event on June 22, a restaurant owner in Virginia refused service to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and her family because Sanders works for President Trump.
The owner of The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, threw out Sanders and seven of her family members from her restaurant on “moral grounds.” Sanders also confirmed the incident in a tweet on June 23.
Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left. Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
After Sanders and her family members left The Red Hen, the owner of the restaurant followed Sander’s family members to a different restaurant across the street.
“Once Sarah and her family left—and of course Sarah was asked to please vacate, Sarah and her husband just went home. They had sort of had enough. But the rest of her family went across the street to a different restaurant,” Sanders’s father, the former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said on The Laura Ingraham Show.
“The owner of the Red Hen—nobody’s told this—then followed them across the street, called people and organized a protest yelling and screaming at them from outside the other restaurant and creating this scene.”
The Red Hen received backlash for its actions. It was flooded with thousands of negative reviews online. The eatery’s rating on Yelp, a popular website for customer reviews, plummeted to two stars out of five.