The photo shows a firefighter wearing a navy blue T-shirt with the phrase "Let's go Brandon" on the back, which is a coded protest slogan against President Joe Biden. He appears to be standing with two other members of the Fire Department on the corner of Noe and 18th streets in San Francisco.
The phrase became a meme in October 2021 after an NBC sports reporter misheard a crowd chanting "F*** Joe Biden" after 28-year-old NASCAR driver Brandon Brown won his first-ever victory at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama. The reporter incorrectly said the crowd was chanting "Let's go, Brandon" to celebrate his win.
Left-wing media has since dubbed "Let's go Brandon" a "right-wing slur" used to denigrate the president.
The Fire Department responded on Twitter, writing, "This is not the official uniform of the SFFD. This will be handled immediately. Thank you for bringing it to our attention."
In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, a spokesman for the department confirmed the firefighter will face disciplinary action for wearing "a non SSFD T-shirt" while on active duty and said the T-shirt "does not reflect the views and opinions" of the department.
“The Department took immediate action once made aware. The SFFD has followed internal and City policies to handle this incident,” the statement read.
The department did not respond to media questions about what disciplinary actions the employee will face.
This would not be the first time San Francisco officials have taken action in response to angry leftists on social media. In 2020, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott banned rank-and-file police officers from wearing "thin blue line" face masks showing support for law enforcement after photos and videos of the officers circulated online. The police department said at the time that the face masks "may be perceived as divisive or disrespectful." They also appeared to violate a department policy regarding political symbols.