A popular sandwich chain based in New Jersey became the subject of a Black Lives Matter meme that garnered a lot of reaction online, even though it was a joke they had nothing to do with.
An image from what appeared to be Jersey Mike's Subs, complete with the company's logo, was shared on Twitter stating how they planned on supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. The picture stated that the franchise would change the name of their BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich to BLM (bacon, lettuce and 'mato), as a way to honor the cause.
It has been retweeted more than 23,000 times since it was posted on Tuesday, and drew a wide range of responses. Some said they would stop eating at Jersey Mike's, others were seemingly in disbelief.
What some online didn't seem to grasp: It was a joke, posted by comedian Yassir Lester. The next day, Lester came clean and admitted it was all made up, and posed a few questions for those who had responded to it.
"How bad off are we that we though a corporation would rename a sandwich, offensively, as a statement of solidarity?" he asked, following it up with a question to those who were instantly angered by the fake statement: "Why is no one using google? It's free."
Although he said he thought it was "obvious" it wasn't real, he also added that some of the outrage was understandable.
"It's not to say I don't understand the immediate outrage, which is why I led with the first question," he wrote in the post. "Jersey Mike's didn't say this no. But a lot of corporations have come close. They've all promised money to "the community" yet we have no idea where any of it is going."
Some in the Garden State hoped people wouldn't take it out on the sandwich shop, given that they had nothing to do with the meme and their reputation in the community.
"They're a very responsible local company. They do a lot for charity and they've always been looked up to as a straight-forward company with no gimmicks," said Patrick Botticelli. Each franchise of Jersey Mike's is required by the company to give back some of their profit back to the community.
A spokesperson with Jersey Mike's told NBC New York the company has no comment about the posting.