The owner of a Bloomington, Indiana, dive bar who voiced support for Bud Light and threatened to remove customers speaking out against the beer maker over its recent promotional partnership with a transgender influencer recently backpedaled his stance after losing regulars.
McKinley Minniefield, the owner of Fairfax Bar and Grill, released a statement on Facebook in April informing patrons that they would no longer be welcome inside the establishment if they spewed "bigotry and hatred" regarding Bud Light's advertising partnership with Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer who recently celebrated "365 Days of Girlhood."
The controversial promotional advertisement fueled calls for boycotts against Bud Light and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch.
"We are tired of all of the hate. We are very open to debate and discussion and it's truly a shame that we can't have open conversations about this important political and cultural topic," Minniefield wrote on the bar's Facebook page in April. "Unfortunately due to all of the bigotry and hatred that has surfaced around the Bud Light controversy any patron wanting to voice their concerns about the issue will be immediately asked to pay their bill and leave our establishment."
"If you are intolerant of other humans of any kind, we ask that you keep your opinions to yourself. Should you feel the need to discuss this matter in public you will be asked to leave. We will not tolerate intolerance here," the statement continued.
Shortly after publishing the post, Minniefield appeared on the local news to discuss his stance on the controversy surrounding Bud Light. He noted that his bartenders were "aggravated" about some customers' "very vulgar" "hate speech."
In subsequent follow-up statements on Facebook, Minniefield noted that he had received "overwhelmingly positive and supportive" feedback but that some of the bar's regulars had chosen to boycott the establishment.
"Thank you to all of you for supporting our establishment. With the departure of some of our regulars, we have needed new clientele, and you have answered. I'm not gonna lie, we still need more of you right now," he stated.
On Thursday, Minniefied posted another update on social media, attacking Fox News readers after the media outlet ran a story on him and his bar.
"You can imagine the hateful comments and messages pouring in today from transphobic, homophobic and racist Fox News followers," he wrote.
Later that same day, after landing in hot water with some frequent customers of the bar, Minniefield retracted his earlier statements and appeared to backpedal on the threat to remove patrons who voiced opposing opinions.
"A lot has been said - some correct, and some incorrect - and I want to clarify my stance," the bar owner posted. "What I really want to convey is this: just be respectful. Different opinions are welcome here as long as they are delivered respectfully. We'd no more want ugly, aggressive or rude interactions about which sports team someone thinks is better, than about societal issues."
Minniefield added that the bar "will not censor opinions, but we do require civility in this establishment."
"So if you can't play nice, then get out of the sandbox. That goes for everyone! Let's remember why we even gather at a bar - to enjoy each other's company - and raise a glass to civility," he concluded.
Since the most recent Thursday statement, Minniefield's preceding posts have been deleted from the bar's Facebook page.
Bloomington bar cracks down on hate speechyoutu.be
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