Restaurant owner takes stand against sudden backlash involving pro-Marine sticker, sees sales soar

(Image: screenshot)

The owner at an Illinois hamburger restaurant has no plans to take down a sign that has been displayed for a decade despite the sudden outcry from the left that it is “racist.”

Brad Gross, the owner of Gross Burgers, defended the bumper sticker that has been displayed in the restaurant for years, saying the message was not meant to be offensive and he has had no problems until now.

“The bumper sticker has been in my restaurant for more than a decade from a Marine that served in Iraq,” he told WCIA-TV. “He brought it in and asked me to put it up, and I said sure go ahead and put it up and it’s been there for all these years.”

But the restaurant is suddenly facing backlash as social media fuels the fire stoked by angry leftists who are accusing Gross of being a “racist” because of the sign which states, “If you can’t read this, thank a Marine.”

A customer of the Danville burger joint posted a photo of the sign on Facebook last week, slamming the sticker – which includes the acronym for the United States Marine Corp – as “absolutely disgusting.”

“If you can read it, thank yourself for being a multicultural human and not a xenophobic garbage human,” read one comment on Facebook.

“Come for the burgers, stay for the blatant racism!” wrote another.

Sam Schnelle, the customer who posted the complaint, also called the restaurant, alleging the manager said they would “certainly not” be taking down the now controversial sticker.

Not only has Gross received no objections to the sign over the ten years it has been on display, but he also found plenty of support once the backlash began online.

“It’s not about speaking another language. Be fluent in as many [ways] as you want. That’s great. But the sign is about being under a Muslim law or Sharia law & government that would make us write Arabic and abide by their laws,” one person wrote. “We need to thank our military we are not forced to be under that type of law.”

“Learn the history of the restaurant, Marine owned and operated. Get over it,” wrote another, according to Yahoo.

And the publicity has apparently been pretty good for the burger business, with one Facebook user noting how Gross Burgers sold out of the signature item on Sunday.

“Unfortunately, or fortunately, Gross‘ Burgers’ business has increased so much with the free publicity that Brad had to close for the day when he ran out of hamburger. Will regroup and be open again in the morning,” wrote Facebook user Pam Carrell Nichols.  “Thank a Veteran for our rights as U.S. citizens.”

Nichols also noted that local American Legion Riders came out to support Gross as a “lone protester” stood outside the restaurant with a sign to protest the owner’s “right to freedom and opinions.”

“The lone protester had a Vermilion County Sheriff’s Deputy drive her across Henderson Ave, south lot across from the restaurant. She certainly has a right to protest whatever she wants in the U.S. and others have a right to show support of the U.S. and Gross,” Nichols wrote. “If she was in an Arabic country doing the same in her tank top and blond hair, she would be stoned to death.”


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