A Sonic Drive-in signboard that carried a "shockingly racist" message about the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins prompted an apology from the restaurant chain on Sunday.
The uproar began after a photo circulated on Twitter showing the sign in Belton, Missouri. The sign, which has since been taken down, read: "'KC CHIEFS' WILL SCALP THE REDSKINS FEED THEM WHISKEY SEND - 2 - RESERVATION."
On Sunday, the Washington Redskins lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Landover, Maryland.
Patrick Lenow, vice president of public relations at Sonic, told NBC News that the sign was created by an employee who is "known for creative use of his signs," but that this sign was done "in poor taste."
"The remarks posted on this message board were wrong, offensive and unacceptable," Lenow said in a statement. "In a misguided effort to support his football team an independent franchise owner allowed passion to override good judgment. The owner has reinforced with his employees the boundaries of what is acceptable and unacceptable. On behalf of the franchise owner and our entire brand we apologize for the offensive remarks."
Lenow said the message was up for only "a matter of hours" and has since been taken down and that the employee who created the sign is "very apologetic."
Still, Native Americans excoriated the sign as indicative of why Native American mascots need to be banned.
Audra Simpson, assistant professor of anthropology at Columbia University in New York City, told NBC News that at "first blush (the sign) is just shockingly racist" and "hateful," but added that the existence of signs like these is not surprising to Native Americans.
The sign comes as the Washington Redskins face increasing pressure by Native American groups, politicians and clergy to change the team's name. But team owner Dan Snyder said he will "NEVER" change the name.
The name of the employee behind the sign was not released.
First published December 8 2013, 5:17 PM