Weird time to be Chick-fil-A, huh? While the fast-food chicken restaurant remains one of the most popular chains, and continues to expand rapidly, and even has the coveted teen vote, it’s hard to bring up eating at Chick-fil-A without touching off heated discussions about things like homophobia, boycotting as a method of social change, the tangible benefits of the latter, etc.
Chick-fil-A can give free chicken to all the babies and centanarians it wants, but until the company reckons with its publicly discriminatory practices, it’s going to keep getting dragged into the spotlight at inconvenient moments. Like, for instance, in the middle of a Cincinnati Cyclones game.
WLWT-5 reports that the Cyclones, a mid-level professional hockey affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres, were playing at home on Saturday night when an outing for the Chick-fil-A Fan Zam, the Cyclones’ branded zamboni, went ... well, not according to plan. This is the Fan Zam, normally:
On Saturday, during a playoff game, several fans aboard the Fan Zam managed to conceal protest signs within birthday message cards, only to reveal the message “Chick-fil-A is Anti-Gay” once actually out on the ice:
In response, the Cyclones removed the demonstrators, and would go on to ban fan signs aboard the zamboni:
Since 2012, when Chick-fil-A company president Dan Cathy acknowledged in an interview that Chick-fil-A is a company solely supportive of “traditional” marriage (specifically the heterosexual, God-fearing kind), the company has struggled to separate itself from that reputation and has continued to donate to charities discriminating against LGBTQ communities. San Antonio and Buffalo have both recently barred the franchise from operating in their airports; San Jose’s upcoming location in its own airport will strive to be the “gayest” in the country. Presidential candidates are weighing in.
Chick-fil-a is allowed to take whatever public stances it likes. It just might want to get to the point of being at peace with protests continuing alongside them. In the meantime, April 13, 2019 will forever go down as the night that a flock of fans flim-flammed the Fan Zam.