July 01, 2020
Throughout the month of June, Twitter and other social media platforms were rife with corporate statements of solidarity with Black Lives Matter and the peaceful protesters against racism and police brutality.
It was only a matter of time before someone came along with an over-the-top prank.
On Tuesday night, it came at the expense of Jersey Mike's, the hoagie chain based out of Wall Township in Monmouth County. The company has about 2,000 locations across the United States.
Twitter user Yassir Lester posted a photo of an apparent statement from Jersey Mike's. The statement claimed the company would change its BLT sandwich into a "BLM" sandwich, dropping the "to" from "tomato."
Literally what is jersey Mike’s doing. pic.twitter.com/9XohWNOa4n— Yassir Lester (@Yassir_Lester) July 1, 2020
“We here at Jersey Mike’s are always striving for greatness. With our sandwiches, but also in our community," the fake statement said. "We have listened to the larger cultural conversation and have decided that effective tomorrow, July 1, our famous BLT: Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich, will now be known as the BLM: Bacon, Lettuce, and ‘Mato sandwich.”
The official social media accounts for Jersey Mike's showed no indication that the statement came from the company. That didn't stop some people from believing it was real.
Jersey Mike’s heart was in the right place...but how was “BLT” a problem? Was the tomato perpetuating racism? pic.twitter.com/WjOyT77VqX— maria (@logicBFF) July 1, 2020
Jersey Mike’s marketing team in the morning trying to figure out what happened pic.twitter.com/20C0KDNH29— 🥈 BENSON (@02Benson) July 1, 2020
Found a picture of Jersey Mike’s PR team. pic.twitter.com/QxmtJLtcF0— Victor Bizar Gómez (@Bizar_Gomez) July 1, 2020
Jersey Mike’s is what happens when you don’t have any black representation in higher up places but want to be performative lol. pic.twitter.com/0cTexKyzdt— I Just Work Here (@yodanielchill) July 1, 2020
Jersey Mike’s after changing the name of their BLT sandwich to the BLM sandwich pic.twitter.com/8zg61thHMG— Joey Mauceri (@J_Mauc) July 1, 2020
With the Jersey Mike’s BLT being renamed to the BLM we’re one step closer to that “$5.99 Black Lives Platter” meal meme thing being reality and it’s killing me— Mr Mondo Cool (@AssSweatJones) July 1, 2020
"Jersey Mike's didn't say this, no. But a lot of corporations have come close," Lester said. "They've all promised money to 'the community' yet we have no idea where any of it is going. We need to divest from police and invest in an infrastructure that keeps Black and other marginalized groups terrorized by law enforcement safe and accountable."
The irony is, here in the UK the store chain Marks & Spencers actually did something very similar with LBT sandwiches... pic.twitter.com/xqPOK1sLIE— El Toupée (#Hell2Pay) (@El_Toupee) July 1, 2020
Sidebar...but Jersey Mikes was incredible about supporting frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic. Every day at my wife's hospital (in NJ) and many others there would be a huge table of JM subs. That doesn't make this right, but their hearts seem to be in a good place— Brett Trainor (@bltrainor) July 1, 2020
Making light of the attempt of people to address systemic racism is offensive. You could make reasoned argument, but it is much easier to make fun of people.— Sardo Kamala Harris Numspa 🇺🇸🌊 (@SardoNumspa7) July 1, 2020
Wow ... if that were my trademark, I’d sue you into oblivion. You’ve done harm impersonating a company that did Nothing to deserve it. And no, you weren’t trying to make some profound commentary on corp. pandering... just an exploitation of the BLM message... just a cheap joke.— OMGitsManBearPig (@OMGmbp) July 1, 2020