Jimmy John's has fired four employees of the sandwich chain who were caught on video making a noose out of bread dough playing with it. In the video posted to social media of workers at a Woodstock franchise location, one employee drapes the dough noose over another's neck and pulls on it as the other workers laugh. "Happy 4th of July," a banner at the bottom of the video reads. All of the involved employees appear to be white.
After one person shared the video, originally recorded on Snapchat, to Twitter, the clip went viral, with people calling it a mock lynching. Jimmy John's responded Sunday to the original video that the company has "zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form," saying that the franchisee had taken "immediate action" and fired all the employees involved. "The actions seen in this video are completely unacceptable and do not represent the Jimmy John's brand," the company tweeted.
Monday, the company issued an updated statement, saying that as soon as it was made aware of the video, it notified the franchisee, who "who quickly investigated and terminated all employees involved." The chain continued, "The franchisee is also meeting with their team to conduct training to help prevent anything like this from ever happening again."
Jimmy John's is just one of the large chains contending with racist symbols amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. Last week, Home Depot announced it would no longer display spools of rope for customers after reports that some people had used the ropes to form nooses in the stores. The home improvement chain will now only sell the item in pre-cut lengths based on commonly purchased measurements, the company announced. "Unfortunately, we've had some instances where spooled rope was used to create hate symbols and we're not going to tolerate it," a Home Depot spokesperson said at the time.
Last month, NASCAR launched an investigation into what appeared to be a noose found in Black driver Bubba Wallace's garage at the Talladega Superspeedway. While the FBI announced at the end of its investigation that the rope was a garage pull, not a noose, Wallace told CNN, "People that want to call it a garage pull put out old videos and photos of knots as their evidence, go ahead... it's a straight-up noose."