Families Address Buffalo Wild Wings Racial Incident

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 8, 2019

Some children who attended the birthday party October 26 in Naperville broke into tears during a news conference. "We are looking to change things", attorney Cannon D. Lambert said at a press conference Tuesday.

Justin Vahl, one of the adults at the child's party, recalled walking into the restaurant with a group of almost 20 people - some as young as 5 years old - and the host promptly asking what race he was. "I was immediately astonished I was even asked this question, but I responded, 'What does that matter?' and so the host said, 'We have a regular customer here who doesn't want to sit around black people'". Vahl said most of the members of her party were African American. That employee then came up to Vahl's tables and said her group would have to move, as the seats were reserved. They left for another restaurant after several managers tried to move them. Both he and Vahl said they struggled to explain to the children what had happened.

"Now I got to explain (to the children) what being a black man is", Riley said.

Vahl said that as her group began to order drinks and appetizers, another Buffalo Wild Wings employee approached the table of the regulars for what Vahl described as a "playful" interaction.

The restaurant has since fired employees that were involved and they have banned the customer who "exhibited the inappropriate behavior" for life.

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"It is Christian, it's spiritual to forgive, but as to whether or not we will go to Buffalo Wild Wings again, that's an open question", Lambert said.

Ashley Smith said she didn't expect to have to try to explain to her children why someone wouldn't want to sit near them due to their skin color, but she did just that while other children were enjoying boneless wings and fries.

"They can show other corporate participants what it is to stand up to racism", Lambert said.

A lawsuit against Buffalo Wild Wings has not yet been filed, and Lambert said there would be no need to do so if the company agreed to speak with the group and admit "this should have never happened".

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