A northern Kentucky-based barbecue food truck that frequents the Cincinnati area is facing backlash for what some are calling “bigoted” T-shirts.
Belle’s Smoking BBQ sells t-shirts that state: “I support LGBTQ: Liberty, guns, bible, Trump, and BBQ.” Owner Jamie Smith said he has been selling the shirts for nearly two years, but wasn’t criticized for them until he posted a picture of one on the company’s Facebook page.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the Facebook post went viral and the company received several messages calling the T-shirts bigoted and insensitive.
“Simple bigotry … sad commentary for business good luck going broke,” one person responded in outrage.
“Wearing that shirt is f—ing offensive,” another added.
The Cincinnati Food Truck Association said in a Thursday statement that it “has come to our attention that a member has posted some distasteful content on their business page.”
“We would like to reiterate to all of our followers that CFTA relies on and appreciates the support of all members of our community. We support positivity and building a united community. We are currently taking internal appropriate action,” the group wrote on Facebook.
By Friday morning, Belle’s Smoking BBQ was allegedly “suspended” pending “a full review and final decision by the CFTA Board.”
Belle’s Smoking BBQ continues to sell and promote the T-shirts, but did issue an apology early Friday morning.
“Belle’s Smoking BBQ apologizes if we have offended any groups, organizations or individuals with our shirts. We respect all beliefs and lifestyles and want no ill towards anyone,” the company said. “We know each person has their own thoughts and beliefs but we are hurt that the people saying, ‘stop the hate’ are the ones coming at us with the harassing messages and threatening phone calls. Again we apologize for any hurt feeling and thank our supporters who truly know us.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Belle’s Smokin BBQ” by Belle’s Smokin BBQ.