Private members' club 1880 apologises for ‘insensitive’ question on George Floyd’s murder in pub quiz

Private members' club 1880 apologises for ‘insensitive’ question on George Floyd’s murder in pub quiz

1880 Bar
The bar at private members' club 1880. The club was opened in 2017. (Photo: Facebook/ 1880)

SINGAPORE: Private members' club 1880 has apologised for including an “insensitive and inappropriate” question about the murder of African-American George Floyd in a pub quiz it held, according to an Instagram post it put up on Monday (May 3).

The question was about the trial of Derek Chauvin – the American former police officer convicted of murdering Floyd – and how long he had his knee on Floyd’s neck, the club said.

“Last night, 1880 made a mistake. We are incredibly sorry for this,” read the post, signed off by the club’s chief executive officer Jean Low.

“The question was insensitive and inappropriate. The very mention of this subject matter was completely out of line and showed a serious lack of judgment.”

The killing of George Floyd last year had sparked waves of protests against racial injustice and police brutality around the world.

READ: Tears of joy, relief after conviction in George Floyd murder case

In response to CNA's queries, 1880's founder Marc Nicholson said he takes full responsibility for the incident.

Mr Nicholson said the club is "an inclusive safe space for our community to discuss important issues and topics, that matter to all of us".

The club has a responsibility to its community, both internal and external, “to lead with accountability”, he said.

Mr Nicholson added: “We are devastated to have caused so much pain and discomfort, and we hope for the opportunity to grow and do better. Most of all now we want to create room for healing.”

The club, which opened in 2017, also said the incident was “not a reflection of (its) values”.

“1880 is about creating connections and inspiring conversations that help us understand one another better, united by a shared willingness to end dogma. On this day we failed.

“We will work hard to learn from this and commit to taking all necessary steps to re-establish your trust in us.”

CLUB MEMBERS UP IN ARMS

Members of the club expressed outrage at the incident.

One member, who only wanted to be known as Jason, said: “I found it very upsetting, extremely insensitive and extremely disappointing, given the times we are in.

"(The George Floyd case) is something that happened extremely recently and has been a catalyst for conversations around race and equality."

READ: Commentary: Why did George Floyd protests gain traction worldwide – including Asia?

He added that his disappointment stems from the fact that there were several stages at which someone could have caught the inappropriate question before it was asked.

“Someone had to think about it, write it down, and put it forward as one to be asked. Someone would have to look at it and provide approval, and ultimately there was someone who asked it.

“Anybody who feels a loss of life is something to be trivialised is very disappointing,” said Jason, who is in his late 30s.

One Instagram user added: “Being accountable is far more than a public apology … Do more, do better, make changes!”

Another member in her early 40s, who only wanted to be known as Etta, said she was shocked and upset when she heard about the incident.

“It was very insensitive and I did not think it was a necessary trivia question,” she told CNA.

She added that she has spoken to the management who seemed genuinely remorseful.

“Apologies are the first thing – they need to start by saying sorry. The second point is then over the next couple of days, come up with an action plan,” said Etta, adding that management has given the assurance that they will do this.

Source: CNA/cl(ta)

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