FACT CHECK: Did Buffalo Wild Wings ‘Ban’ The National Anthem?

David Sivak | Fact Check Editor

Twitter users claimed recently that the sports bar franchise Buffalo Wild Wings censors the national anthem at its restaurants.

Verdict: False

An employee at a Buffalo Wild Wings location wouldn’t let customers hear the national anthem on TV, incorrectly citing “company policy.” Buffalo Wild Wings has no such policy and issued an apology after the incident.

Fact Check:

A Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in California made news in September after an employee lowered the volume while the national anthem played on TV before a football game.

“When he was asked why, the employee – who was not identified – said the anthem is too controversial, and it was company policy not to play it,” reported a local CBS affiliate.

The incident came amid controversy over NFL players kneeling during the anthem.

Buffalo Wild Wings issued an apology, stating that it has no corporate policy against playing the national anthem.

“We apologize that Guests at the Eastvale, California location didn’t receive the positive sports viewing experience we strive to provide in all of our restaurants every day,” read the statement. “This was the action of one individual and does not reflect our corporate practice. Our intent is to show game broadcasts in their entirety including the National Anthem, post-game interviews, and highlights.”

The company that owns the restaurant in question also released a statement. “World Wide Wings, a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, apologizes for what happened at a restaurant before the Monday Night Football game,” it said. “We do not have a policy regarding this matter.”

But the damage was done, and users on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms began to mistakenly claim that Buffalo Wild Wings had banned the anthem.

“I will never ever spend any money there because my patriotism comes before temporary pleasure,” tweeted one user.

Conservative commentator Katie Pavlich shared the false claim in March, garnering nearly 1,000 retweets.

“Go to @MissionBBQ instead! They play the National Anthem every single day at noon. Everyone stops and stands in respect. The food is good too,” she tweeted.

In an attempt to set the record straight, the Buffalo Wild Wings Twitter handle replies to users who repeat the claim.

“That is not true, Faith. We do not ban the National Anthem,” the company told one user.

“Glad to hear it,” replied Faith. “Just another false story then.”

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David Sivak

Fact Check Editor

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