A Pittsburgh pro soccer team has ended a promotion with Chick-fil-A following complaints from some of the team’s most passionate fans.
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, a member of the United Soccer League (USL), was set to sell Chick-fil-A sandwiches over the weekend in its game against Loudoun United FC at Pittsburgh’s Highmark Stadium, yet faced backlash from a handful of groups that support the club. PittsburghSoccerNow.com reported on the controversy. The sandwiches were to be provided by a local Chick-fil-A.
One of the groups, Iron City Front, tweeted that it was “disappointed” in the partnership due to Chick-fil-A and its owners having “donated millions of dollars to organizations that have fought against” same-sex marriage.
Steel Army, another group that supports the team, tweeted that they “strongly oppose” the partnership due to Chick-fil-A’s past donations.
On Friday, the Riverhounds announced that after “considering feedback” they could “discontinue” their “planned promotion and sale of Chick-fil-A sandwiches at home games this season,” although they honored the commitment at the weekend game.
“Riverhounds SC wishes to thank the local and independently operated McKnight Road Chick-fil-A for their collaboration,” a statement said. “... But after consulting with our supporters’ groups and gauging feedback from our fans, the decision was made not to continue the promotion beyond this week’s match. The Hounds and Highmark Stadium strongly believe in making all of our fans feel welcome, and we look forward to doing so once again at tomorrow’s match. As an organization, we will continue to look for ways to partner with local and national brands to improve the game day experience for everyone.”
Plenty of fans, though, were upset with the team’s action.
“This is ridiculous!!! Did you take into consideration of other fans and season ticket holder[s] such as myself?! I love Chick-fil-a,” one person tweeted to the team.
“Thanks for reminding me to get lunch at chic-fil-a (sic) today,” another person wrote.
Chick-fil-A this year was named America’s favorite restaurant in the American Customer Satisfaction Index poll of customers, marking the seventh straight year it led that survey.
The company is owned by a Christian family and is closed on Sundays. Chick-fil-A’s official corporate purpose is “to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Photo courtesy: ©Emilio Garcia/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.