A Miami restaurant worker quit after he says the owner gave its blackened chicken wings an offensive nickname, according to a report.
Brandon Gonzalez, a 25-year-old bar back, said he was bringing out a plate of the wings last week at Hole in the Wall Pub when he noticed the phrase “I can’t breathe” printed on the ticket under the order, the Miami New Times reported.
“I initially brushed it off as a mistake, but the owner came into the kitchen and mentioned the joke to the kitchen workers,” Gonzalez told the outlet.
The owner explained that he had put the phrase into the ordering machine as a joke, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez had been working at three of the bar’s locations since January, but he resigned after his shift was over, the outlet reported.
“We’ve been talking about this whole movement ever since George Floyd was murdered,” he said. “You don’t make a joke about the movement when most of your kitchen staff is Black. I felt like ignoring this would be disrespectful to my friends and everyone who is part of the movement.”
When he quit, Gonzalez took the order ticket with him and posted a photo of it to Twitter.
“Yesterday I was at work and my boss, hole in the wall co-founder Sam, thought it’d be funny to change the ‘Blackened’ wings to ‘I Can’t Breathe,’” he wrote. “Attention miami locals do not support this disgusting establishment. I quit today. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Sam Diedrick, who is listed as an owner on state documents, has since apologized for his “lame attempt at humor,” the outlet reported.
“My intentions were never to offend or make any employee or customer uncomfortable,” he said. “I will take this incident and learn from my oafish behavior. I truly am sorry.”