American Legion officers asked to remove motorcycle vests in Dave & Buster’s

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- A West Michigan couple is sharing their story after they say they were forced to leave a local business because of their motorcycle vests.

They say they went to Dave & Buster's on 28th Street on Saturday wearing American Legion vests, a group with several members who are veterans. They say they were asked to take them off or leave.

Victor Murdock and his fiancee Adrienne Brown say they went to have some drinks and play games when they were told they couldn't wear their American Legion vests inside Dave & Buster's. Company policy says no gang-related apparel is allowed inside Dave & Buster's, but the couple says they were just trying to display their patriotism.

"We went there to have a few beers and play some video games," said Victor Murdock. "Harmless fun right?"

Both Murdock and Brown are officers of the American Legion Riders Post 179 out of Grandville. They say wearing their vests everyday marked with the American flag and bald eagle makes them proud.

"Our vests have the American flag, the Prisoner of War flag, they have our patch that has a big bald eagle on the back of it and it says our post," said Adrienne Brown.

The couple says the post makes it a point to help those who serve our country. FOX 17 was there in December as they donated nearly a dozen computers and webcams to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Shortly after entering the Dave & Buster's on Saturday, Murdock says he was first asked to remove his hat.

"At first it was my beanie, so I agreed to take it off, but that wasn't good enough for the manager," said Murdock.

Murdock says it didn't end there.

"As I turned to go to the bathroom to take off my beanie, the manager was standing there and placed his hand on my chest and told me I wasn't allowed in there," said Murdock. "We all asked why and he said it was because the jackets were gang related."

They say at that point, the manager gave them and their friends two options.

"Basically if we didn't either turn them inside out or remove them that we would have to leave," said Murdock.

"They don't promote violence, they don't promote hate and they don't have any intolerant sayings on them," said Brown.

According to the vice president of Dave & Buster's, April Spearman, company policy states their dress code bans anything with evidence of gang affiliation. That includes motorcycle jackets displaying patches or rockers.

While Spearman says they understand the American Legion's mission, they can't allow them to wear the vests for consistency reasons.  That's something that doesn't sit well with Victor and Adrienne.

"I would like for not so much an apology, but an amendment in their policy to not discriminate against riders in general to frequent their establishment," Murdock said. "You shouldn't have to turn an American flag and a bald eagle inside out to play a video game. It's ridiculous."

 

Full statement from Dave & Buster's:

We are extremely grateful to all of our active military members and

      veterans and are honored to have them as valued guests in any of our

      locations.

      Our dress code, which prohibits evidence of gang affiliation, is in

      place to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy themselves in a fun

      and safe environment. Though we understand that the American Legion

      promotes a positive mission, for consistency reasons we cannot allow

      motorcycle jackets displaying patches or rockers. Our policies are in

      no way meant to be disrespectful and we apologize for any frustration

      this may have caused.

      In addition, please know that this group was not asked to leave, but

      to simply turn their jackets inside out.  Again, we apologize for any

      misunderstanding.

 

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32 comments

  • P

    Good for Dave and busters. Everyone thinks their special, especially these motorcycle hoods. They all say the same thing, were peaceful, until there not. Get a life you goons.

    • Dianne

      You are an idiot – the American Legion is a nationally recognized Veterans organization just life the VFW – They serve Vets and go out of their way to help others. They are not and never were a gang – they dont promote violence – – so what if a few of them ride motorcycles and wear a vest with their legion patch and post number on them – its not gang affiliated – saying they are wearing “gang” gear would be like claiming the boys scouts and girl scout uniforms are gang related –

      • C

        Wtf are you talking about “this guy didn’t serve his country”? YOU HAVE TO HAVE SERVED FEDERAL ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES TO BE IN THE AMERICAN LEGION!

        • Julie

          Actually, to belong to the American legion Riders, you either are a Legionaire (someone who served in the Military during wartime/conflict), Ladies Auxillary (your Father, Grandfather, Husband, Mother or son/daughter served in the military) or a Son of the American Legion (just as inmplies – your father/mother served) to join. But you are right – either you or someone you loved wrote a blank check to the American People to join.

  • steve

    Evidently, corporate policy prohibits evidence of gang affiliation and the manager was following those guidelines, even if the explanation was clumsily handled. The policy itself invites problems if not clearly defined and prominently displayed in writing. To do so might reduce problems in the future, though I doubt the bikers will be back in the place any time soon.

    • Larry

      But why wasn’t the manager charged with battery? He illegally put his hands on this gentleman without cause. This is Michigan and that is a crime.

  • Sara

    This should have been an exception to the rule, anything patriotic or military. I would have walked out and never come in again. The military “gang” is who keep us safe!

  • G

    Its a policy, Ive had to remove a beanie. Its their policy to stay safe. People need to deal with it. Promotes safety. People just find anything to make a fuss on Social media or the news.

  • Sissy

    What you wear doesn’t change who you are inside and these were clearly not the “Hell’s Angels”. Please quit judging books by their covers. This isn’t the 1960’s, but since you so clearly have made your stand I will not give Dave and Buster’s my business. This was clearly needed so people can stop patronizing the restaurant. I don’t ride motorcycles but I do attend the benefits they hold to give thousands of dollars to local charities!!!

    • steve

      No, Chris. The people who oppose same-sex marriage at Chick-fil-A do so for religious beliefs. This has nothing to do with religion. Right or wrong, they are anticipating potential safety concerns for their customers as well as lost revenue.

  • Donald

    so, what of a group of people who all the same brand of clothing? would this company allow a group of rowdy young men wearing Affliction T-shirts, or Polo? This company has every right to serve or not serve, but they should educated themselves on the definition of THUG and GANG.

  • Leslie

    I was kicked out of this same D&B a few weeks ago after refusing to take off my beanie. I was mad then, but I’m livid now.

    They say the only hat allowed with their dress code is a baseball cap (they told me this AFTER I had spent $25 on a game card and $20 on drinks). I created enough of a scene to get a refund, but the manager was so rude.

    Also, very hypocritical. I saw a boy get a poop emoji hat (https://www.amazon.com/RIN-Emoji-Poop-Hat-1/dp/B01LZ3AHRB) from the prize desk mere seconds later.

  • Julie

    The American Legion Riders are not goons, nor are they a gang!!!! They are Veterans who served our country- most have been in harms way. They are all members of the Veterans group of the American Legion that in itself has been around since WWII. They are not a motorcycle club – they help the communities’ that they live in. Get you facts straight before you say such disrespectful things about those that serviced our country. Majority of my friends are Riders and they wear their vest with pride – the only thing that goes on those vests are patriotic and military based patches!!! And “P” they are special- they are veterans!! Can you say the same? What have you laid your life down for lately?

  • Donald

    What about people who wear FUBU…. A clothing company that means FOR US BY US…. is that a gang? or would is that racist? Insert randy marsh meme…. OH IM SORRY I THOUGHT THIS WAS AMERICA?!

    Real freedom is scary, go to hell dave and busters!

  • P

    They are a gang. By virtue of their attitude, it is obvious they live by their rules only, a don’t give a damn about any one else. And for your bleeding heart dems, I served in Vietnam for six years.

    • Julie

      Then shame on you P – If you what you claim to be – a third of the Riders are Vietnam vets – as well as Gulf war and Iraqi war vets! You quiet obviously know nothing about the American Legion or it’s Riders!!! They help homeless vets VA hospitalized vets and their families. The help with Christmas Angels or disadvantaged children, the salvation army kitchens…. they are a positive force in the communities’ that they are in. Majority never belonged to a real MC prior to the joining the Riders!!! Get your facts straight man. And yes I’m a veteran myself. Served in the Air Force for 9 years. I’ve been apart of my American legion for 15 years now – I’ve volunteered along side the Riders in numerous events over the years. They are the new bloods stepping up to the plate getting things done for the Legion and the communitte – not just sitting in the bar.

    • john

      I am 70 years old,bike rider that is a member ot the American Legion Post in Rockord and go to the post in Comstock Park.I wear my vest with a Batch on the back that states 16 SOS A/C 130 Gunship,on the frount is air crew wings,10 ribbons-6 of the 10 was for Vietnam,and Special Ops Squadron Patch.And I carry in my pocket of my vest the orders for what I am wearing.Members of the Rockford and Comstock Park know who I am!Anyone asking me to remove my vest to be served,is like asking me to disrespect the members I flew with that DIED.AND THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN!!!As to you who said 6 years in Vietnam ,is Bull!Look me up at either Post and Prove to me and Legion members you served 6 years in Vietnam!!

    • Roy D Mercer

      you probably “served” (stayed) 6 years in Vietnam because you are a loser here in your home country…….throwing around a few MPCs made you a big man to a poor third world populace………..you need to go back, and see how ‘big’ you are there NOW! lol…….try again loser!

  • Vicki A DiNitto

    The PROBLEM is—this generation doesn’t even KNOW the insignia of the military and/or ancillary groups. Tim to bring back the DRAFT. Get a little “education” in the kitchen gallery–maybe KP

  • brooke

    hello…….i like it your motorcycle dress…..how cost? Among the many critical parts of motorcyclists protective gear are motorcycle jackets and motorcycle trousers..Good for Dave and busters. Everyone thinks their special, especially these motorcycle hoods. They all say the same thing, were peaceful, until there not. Get a life you goons… thanks for shearing……..

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