© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines plane sits at a gate at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, US, October 11, 2021. Photo: Joe Skipper/Reuters
Written by Nicholas B. Brown
(Reuters) – Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) said on Sunday it was investigating an incident in which a pilot was said to have said “let’s go Brandon” – a phrase intended to insult US President Joe Biden – during an in-flight intercom.
In a statement posted to the company’s official Twitter account (NYSE :), Southwest said it was “conducting an internal investigation” into the event, and “will take up the situation directly with any employee involved.”
The accident, reported by the Associated Press, occurred Friday on a Southwest Airlines flight from Houston to Albuquerque. The pilot allegedly said “let’s go Brandon” during his remarks to passengers, causing an audible gasp, the Associated Press reported.
The phrase became a meme against Biden in the wake of a NASCAR race earlier this month, which was won by NASCAR driver Brandon Brown. While interviewing Brown on camera after the race, the largely conservative crowd chanted “F-k Joe Biden!” The interviewer mistook the hymn for “Let’s Go Brandon,” and the phrase has since become a euphemism.
“Southwest does not condone the participation of employees in their personal political views while at work,” the company said in a statement on Sunday, adding that the pilot’s views should not be interpreted as representing the company.
Some Republican members of Congress have embraced the phrase as a rallying cry. US Senator Ted Cruz tweeted a picture of himself at the World Baseball Championships, standing with a fan holding a “Let’s Go Brandon” sign. US Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina wore a face mask carrying the ferry at the US Capitol.
“Southwest does not tolerate any divisive behavior,” the company said.
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