What was intended as a “joke” wound up costing a Wisconsin bar employee her job.
Owners of the Sardine Can, which pegs itself at “Green Bay’s favorite dive bar,” fired their bartender on Saturday after she stated that “Black people aren’t allowed” inside the establishment. Co–owner Chris Hansen said he learned of the incident from a manager who said the female employee made the announcement on a microphone from behind the bar for all to hear.
“I received a text at home from one of my managers regarding a comment that was made,” Hansen told FOX 11 News. “While it was very crowded, it was a rather racial-laden comment.”
“We’re appalled by it, we’re embarrassed by it,” he added.
In a statement posted to Facebook, the bar confirmed the employee no longer works there and that the incident has been nothing short of an embarrassment.
“We at the Sardine Can are embarrassed over what was said,” the owners wrote. “We as an establishment and every employee here does not mirror in any way what was said. We promote unity and equality, and always will. We apologize for anyone who was offended, as we are sure many were. Peace, love, and beer.”
Bar worker Mario Rafe, who knows the bartender, said he took the woman’s comment as a joke but could see how it may have been offensive to others.
“That joke — to her friends — kind of festered out into the crowd,” he told the news station.
Joke or not, Hansen made it clear that type of behavior isn’t tolerated at Sardine Can.
“The gal that came in this morning to bartend was visibly shaken by what was said,” the co-owner said of another employee to took offense to the remark. “We can’t change what [the bartender] said, but, again, we don’t stand for that.”
Social media users commended the bar for canning the worker, but said the action was long overdue.
“Finally! She thought she owned the place and had no respect for many customers,” one Facebook user wrote. “I am surprised the Can let her hang on as long as they did. Maybe She needs to do some deep soul searching.”
“Long overdue,” wrote another. “She was rude to many of the customers and thought she ran the joint.”
One woman took the high road, writing: “Great job doing the right thing! I don’t know what was said, but clearly it was terrible. Way to go on doing the right thing. Shame on anyone trying to segregate or hurt other people.”