Support pours in for popular downtown pizzeria after Kobe Bryant tribute backlash
Stobie's Pizza issued an apology over their Names of the Day board on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (Source: Facebook)
LONDON, ONT -- Known not only for their pizza but their unique style and marketing techniques, Stobie’s Pizza is a staple in downtown London, but now they find themselves at the centre of a controversy over their “names of the day” chalk board.
The board itself is infamous in London. The concept is simple. If your name is one of two written on the board that day you can come have a slice of pizza on the house.
However, it was the names that appeared on the board Monday that lead the pizzeria to issue an apology.
The pizzeria placed the names Kobe and Gianna on the board following the deaths of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna in a tragic helicopter crash Sunday, which also killed seven others.
“Our intent was pure of heart and meant only to honour them. We sincerely apologize to anyone offended,” read a post from Stobie’s on Facebook.
After the board was posted on social media Monday comments began to come in questioning whether or not it was a good idea. Some were simple: “Too soon?” wrote one user, while others were much harsher.
The vast majority of comments were in support of the pizzeria, some noting that they had done the same for Canadian rock icon Gord Downie following his death and there was no backlash then.
"You did nothing wrong and we love and appreciate all that you for for the citizens of London," read one comment. By Thursday morning the post had recieved hundreds of comments of support.
Regardless of the wide support from the community the pizzeria did issue a statement which reads:
“The names of the day is not just a marketing tool for us. Over the past 6 years of doing the names of the day we have used the board as our way of honouring and showing respect to mothers, fathers, veterans, members of our community, as well as those who’ve passed, celebrity or not. Our intent was pure of heart and meant only to honour them. We sincerely apologize to anyone offended. Please know from the bottom of our hearts that we are truly sorry that his has upset so many of you, it was not our intention. Thank you, Stobie’s Pizza.”
And on Tuesday, as promised, the names of all the other victims of the crash were posted.