Fact Check

Did Gordon Ramsay Have Staff 'Take a Knee,' Refuse to Serve Miami Dolphins?

A notorious fake news site spread a rumor that Ramsay rudely ejected Miami Dolphins from his restaurant for "taking a knee" during the national anthem.

Published Oct 3, 2017

Updated Oct 17, 2022
British chef Gordon Ramsay  poses during the MIPCOM  trade show(standing for International Market of Communications Programmes) in Cannes, southern France, on October 16, 2017. (Photo credit should read YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images) (YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images)
Image Via YANN COATSALIOU/AFP via Getty Images
Claim:
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay directed his entire staff to "take a knee" and refuse service to Miami Dolphins players over national anthem protests against police brutality.

On Oct. 1, 2017, the website TheLastLineofDefense.org posted an article that said celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the star of "Kitchen Nightmares," had aimed his notoriously biting rhetoric -- typically reserved for amateur chefs -- at Miami Dolphins players with the National Football League (NFL) who had hoped to dine at one of his restaurants:

Gordon Ramsay Has His Entire Staff Take A Knee-Refuses To Serve Miami Dolphins Players

Four Miami Dolphins showed up at Gordon Ramsay’s Soho Social Gastropub for a bite to eat after their horrible performance and disrespect for our flag and our country. Linebackers Malcolm Warner and Clyde Vargus along with right guard Jefferson Michaels and left tackle Mutombo Toki Del Fuego were seated at a corner booth.

Ramsay walked over and introduced himself, telling them that he had followed all of the drama on TV, and invited them to join him at the pass for “something special.” LLOD correspondent Cynthia Luwhoe, who was enjoying a French Dip at the time, reported in on what happened next:

“Ramsay had the entire staff gather at the pass and instructed them to take a knee. ‘You are four of the most disrespectfrul young men I’ve ever met, said Ramsay, ‘my staff is better than that; better than you. You won’rt be getting service here tonight. F*ck off with the lot of you.'”

At the time, the item caused a stir on social media due to a raging debate over professional football players "taking a knee" during the U.S. national anthem to protest police brutality. Moreover, it appeared on the same day several Dolphins players did "take a knee" before facing off against the New Orleans Saints in London, England:

However, the truth was that TheLastLineofDefense.org displayed a disclaimer that said it was a "satirical publication":

DISCLAIMER: America’s Last Line of Defense is a satirical publication that uses the imagination of liberals to expose the extreme bigotry and hate and subsequent blind gullibility that festers in right-wing nutjobs. We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist. Names that represent actual people and places are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and do not in any way depict reality.

Given the popularity of Gordon Ramsay and topical widespread debate over NFL "take a knee" protests, the story would have certainly made headlines were there any truth to it. However, it was not reported by any credible news outlets and, like everything else on the "satirical" website, the story was fictional.

Updates

On Oct. 17, 2022, this story was updated to the writing style of The Associated Press. A new photograph of Ramsay was also added to replace an older one.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.