A sign with a racial slur was removed from a Fort Worth, Texas, bar after two angry patrons complained about it on social media.
Why was the sign there?
The sign at Jim’s Rodeo Tavern in Fort Worth read “Shut up N*****,” followed by "RIP Teresa Kidwell, 1-15-16."
Owner James Emerson told the Dallas Morning News the sign was placed in the bar in honor of Kidwell, a regular customer who liked to say the phrase. Kidwell was reportedly a white woman.
"It was kind of a joke," Emerson said. "It was never indicative of anything racial."
Jess Bunting and Owen McGrath, who also happen to run another bar in the area, said they went into Jim’s Rodeo Tavern for drinks when they noticed the “disgusting” sign.
Both men said it made them uncomfortable, and they later took to their Facebook profiles to complain about it.
“For an establishment this day in age to have something like this displayed is taking a step back in time. First off I will never step foot in there again and encourage the same out of anyone else,” Bunting wrote on Facebook. The sign is pictured in the background of his post.
Bunting reportedly asked the bartender about the sign, but she shrugged it off. Bunting and McGrath then decided to finish their beers and leave without saying anything else, according to the report.
McGrath told the news outlet that he was concerned about what might happen if he pressed the issue because he’s gay.
"That's the only reason I didn't say anything in the moment," McGrath said. "I don't want to put myself in that situation in case that's an issue."
The two later decided to post a picture of the sign on Facebook.
"At first we didn't plan on putting it on the internet or anything," Bunting said. "We just talked about it, and we felt the service community in the area should know this, so if they plan to go there or even apply for a job there, they would know what was posted."
Emerson told Dallas News that he previously had no complaints about the sign, which has been in place for about two years.
"Everybody's welcome there," Emerson said, "and we've never had that complaint."
He also said he wished the two had first complained to him or one of his employees.
Were they just trying to cause trouble?
"We're in competition with them," Emerson said. "We have a good clientele. We have good people. We have few, if any, problems...To my knowledge, they're just out to make trouble."
Emerson said no asked him about the sign until a reporter called him Tuesday. At that time, he said he would remove it when he arrived at work that afternoon.
"If they had said something, we would have understood that it was bothersome to them, and we would have taken it down," he said.
The two denied trying to cause any problems for the competing bar.
"This isn't a situation of us trying to mess with their business," McGrath told Dallas News. "This is a situation of us seeing something that we feel really strongly about, something that's wildly inappropriate to us."