Why Chick-Fil-A Is Under Fire For Its 'Back The Blue' Shirts

While everybody loves Chick-fil-A's delicious food, it's no secret that at times their politics can be a bit controversial. It is true that Chick-fil-A's owners are evangelical Christians who have expressed a less-than-progressive attitude about same-sex marriage, a stance that has gotten them banned from a number of different locations and boycotted/protested at others, and their religion-based decision to stay closed on Sundays may be losing the chain over a billion dollars a year.

The latest controversy in which Chick-fil-A finds itself embroiled — one for which they are, in fact, being downright roasted (not to mention grilled and fried) — turns out to be manufactured, and based on false or misinterpreted information. While a number of Facebook users have been sharing a viral photo that purportedly shows Chick-fil-A employees wearing t-shirts that seem to imply that the chain is taking a strong stance in supporting law enforcement, and thus implying that they oppose the current Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police officers, the truth behind the matter shows that the shirt has nothing whatsoever to do with current circumstances.

What those Chick-fil-A t-shirts really mean

The photo depicts Chick-fil-A workers wearing t-shirts with the company logo accompanied by the slogan "Back the Blue," which is a phrase often used to show support for the police. While publicly taking this stance just now might well be taken amiss, the photo in question was taken some five years ago. According to Reuters, a Chick-fil-A PR rep confirmed that the shirts were printed up in 2015 by a locally owned and operated Chick-fil-A franchise in order to support their local football team — as well as perhaps indicating generalized support for law enforcement at a time when so doing was not viewed as taking sides on a controversial issue.

Snopes also reveals that this exact same photo was also used on social media in 2016 to spread the rumor that Chick-fil-A was "dropping a bomb" on Black Lives Matter in the aftermath of a protest where five officers were killed. Snopes' rating? An unequivocal "False," for the same reasons that were uncovered by Reuters. In fact, Facebook has labeled some of the posts featuring this photo as having "Partly False Information," and Chick-fil-A themselves have published a statement that makes it quite clear they are not at all opposed to the Black Lives Matter movement or to ending institutionalized racism. As they put it, "Let's open the door to dialogue and healing." Perhaps we'd better start by making sure we find out the truth behind any assertion (or photo) before rushing to judgment or sharing potentially false information on social media.