Subway franchisees are in discussions to drop Team USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe from a new ad amid her National Anthem protests at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Rapinoe, who signed with the company as a spokeswoman this spring, regularly pushes her political views — usually calls for equal rights and an end to the gender pay gap. These views are getting in the way of the company’s reputation and sales, some of the store owners argued during a discussion forum last month.
At the event hosted by the North American Association of Subway Franchisees, franchisees discussed removing Rapinoe from a new ad where she kicks a soccer ball at a person holding a burrito, citing complaints they have received from their customers about her.
“Boycott Subway until Subway fires the anti-American … Megan Rapinoe, the creep who kneels for our beloved National Anthem!” a Wisconsin store operator read from a note a customer taped to the glass door of his restaurant.
“The ad should be pulled and done with,” the franchisee subsequently argued. “It gets tiring apologizing.”
The Subway company doesn’t own any of its nearly 22,000 stores but charges franchisees 4.5% of their revenue for the use of its brand and national advertising campaigns.
These campaigns, an Arizona franchisee argued at the forum, should use the revenue to advertise the product — not politics.
“Spending our money to make a political statement is completely and totally out of bounds,” the franchisee said.
Representatives of the North American Association of Subway Franchisees reportedly told the restaurant owners that they have previously received complaints about Rapinoe’s image and have passed them on to the company’s top management, led by Chief Executive John Chidsey.
“Your NAASF Board has already communicated with [Subway] leadership the concerns voiced by NAASF membership,” Executive Director Illya Berecz told franchisees in a letter obtained by New York Post.
“I had a bunch of franchisees calling me on this today,” a lawyer representing Subway franchisees similarly confirmed to the New York Post. “They are trying to get the ads pulled.”
“If our soccer team, headed by a group of Leftist Maniacs, wasn’t woke, they would have won the Gold Medal instead of the Bronze,” Trump said in an email to his supporters. “The woman with the purple hair played terribly and spends too much time thinking about Radical Left politics instead of doing her job!”
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