Victims Of Racist Incident At Buffalo Wild Wings Ask Company To Revamp Training

Bernie Tafoya
November 05, 2019 - 12:52 pm

NAPERVILLE Ill. (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Victims of racist treatment at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Naperville are calling on the company to work with them to institute racial sensitivity measures nationwide.

Lawyer Cannon Lambert said there are no plans to sue Buffalo Wild Wings if the two sides can agree on remedies the company must take nationwide to deal with racial insensitivity.

Related: Buffalo Wild Wings Fires Employees Who Tried To Reseat Patrons Over Skin Color

"We are hoping. In fact, we are expecting that they will be good corporate citizens and that they will take this opportunity to do the right thing. They have an opportunity to be trailblazers right now," Lambert said.

The adults who attended last month's children's birthday party in Naperville spoke to reporters Tuesday during an emotional news conference. Marcus Riley was among the group of 18 adults and children told to move to another table because a regular, white customer did not want to sit near black people.  

"It brought tears to my eyes to the point that when I walked out the restaurant that night, I called my mother and, I couldn’t even speak. She answered the phone and there was dead silence. It’s me, with tears," he said.

Ashley Smith said it’s heartbreaking to see the children try to understand what happened.

"To know that you have someone telling you, ‘I don’t want to sit by you, because you’re black.’ They are black and it’s okay for them to be black," she said.

Justin Vahl said he was appalled and astonished by what happened to him and the others.

"We’re going into 2020 and we still have to deal with systematic racism," he said.

The group wants racial sensitivity in screening new employees, an employee hotline to report infractions, affected parents involved in staff training and an explanation how the company will enforce its ban on the racist customer from ever being served at any Buffalo Wild Wings.

The company said in a statement that the two employees who told the group to move have been fired and other employees at its Chicago-area restaurants would take part in sensitivity training.

WBBM Newsradio has reached out to Buffalo Wild Wings for comment.