The phrase in question, notably, stems from a NASCAR race won by Brandon Brown. After the victory in October, Brown was being interviewed by an NBC Sports reporter when a chant broke out that was incorrectly described by the reporter as being “Let’s go, Brandon” when it was actually “Fuck Joe Biden.”
The instance of the pilot using the phrase, meanwhile, was first reported by an Associated Press reporter last week. The reporter, who was on the Houston to Albuquerque flight, said the phrase inspired “gasps” from other passengers. As you may or may not have seen in recent weeks, the phrase has been widely used by a number of so-called conservative figures, including Ted Cruz.
On Sunday, a rep for Southwest shared a public statement in which the investigation was announced, adding that the company “does not tolerate” behavior that “encourages divisiveness.” Furthermore, as explained in the statement, the comments do not reflect the viewpoints of the company.
“The Southwest Team takes pride in providing a welcoming, comfortable, safe, and respectful environment for the millions of customers who fly with us each year,” the statement said, in part. “Southwest does not condone employees sharing their personal political opinions while on the job serving our customers, and one employee’s individual perspective should not be interpreted as the viewpoint of Southwest and its collective 54,000 employees.”
The company said they will also address the incident “directly” with any involved airline employees.
Complex has reached out to a rep for Southwest for additional comment.