Liberty University coach Ritchie McKay joked that the fuel that motivated his team to a 80-76 victory over the Mississippi Bulldogs was the thought of Double-Double cheeseburgers and Animal Style burgers and fries, reports USA Today’s For The Win.
Q. “The timeout you took down 10 with about six and change left seemed reminiscent to the Jacksonville game at Jacksonville when you were down 10, took a timeout, then all of a sudden those guys responded. What did you say in that huddle and all of a sudden things started clicking?”
RITCHIE MCKAY: “I said if we come back, we’ll go to In-N-Out burger. (Laughs). No, you know, again, our guys are a group that we’re trying to be about what you do every day, and I think we felt like we could come back if we started valuing each possession. There’s no ten-point plays.
It was just a joke in response to a post-game question by reporters, as transcribed by ASAP Sports, but as it turns out, In-N-Out Burger is exactly where the players celebrated their victory.
Hi welcome to In-N-Out what can I get you? pic.twitter.com/ZN9uwGF9Yz— Liberty Men’s Basketball (@LibertyMBB) March 23, 2019
In-N-Out isn’t a very surprising choice for Liberty University, since the chain openly touts its founders’ Christian values with bible verses printed on its wrappers. This month, Campus Pride named the far-right religious institution as one of the 150 schools on its “Shame List” for supporting anti-LGBTQ discrimination on campus and in employment. Liberty is the only university on the list still competing in the NCAA men’s tournament.
And while the argument can be made these players are not responsible for the dogma and policies of their university, out writer Cam Newton agrees this isn’t about the players and staff. In an opinion piece for the SB Nation site MidMajorMadness, Newton argues the university still should be held accountable: “believing that the program at large operates without an agenda is incredibly naïve, and attempting to say that Liberty Basketball deserves our unconditional support amounts to nothing more than carrying water for [university president Jerry] Falwell, Jr. and his ilk.”
In-N-Out’s reputation has also been called into question in recent months.
In August 2018, Fortune magazine triggered outrage when it reported the restaurant chain donated $25,000 to the California Republican Party.
In-N-Out added a new item to their secret menu. https://t.co/VtaCOuiNRp pic.twitter.com/tCRYqFGDEB— 3-5 Years of Reporting Experience (@gabemschneider) August 29, 2018
That news soured In-N-Out among Democrats and progressives, sparking a boycott, as USA Today reported. Not surprisingly, that boycott was the endorsed by the head of California’s Democratic party.
Et tu In-N-Out? Tens of thousands of dollars donated to the California Republican Party... it’s time to #BoycottInNOut - let Trump and his cronies support these creeps... perhaps animal style!https://t.co/9zkdFaG5CJ— EricBauman (@EricBauman) August 30, 2018
Human Rights campaign gave In-N-Out a ranking of zero on its Workplace Equality Guide.
And as Fortune reported, it’s true that In-N-Out’s late CEO, Rich Snyder, was an evangelical Christian and supporter of Republican candidates, and current president Lynsi Snyder is also devout.
But just as some diners have no idea about In-N-Out’s secret menu, some important details were overlooked in all the condemnation of the burger chain. The fact is, In-N-Out Burger also donated $30,000 in 2017 and $50,000 in 2018 to Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy, a political action committee that supports business-friendly Democratic candidates, according to campaign finance filings.
And as USA Today reported, In-N-Out confirmed that its store managers earn six-figure salaries. Entry-level employees start at $13 an hour, above California’s $11 minimum wage.
Sunday night the 12th-seeded Liberty Flames lost to the No.4 Virginia Tech Hokies in the second round of their Division 1 tournament in San Jose, Calif. The final was 67-58, with Virginia Tech advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1967.
This being Sunday, we can guarantee the Flames will not be dining after the game at Chick-fil-A, since that chain closes its restaurants on Sundays to allow employees to practice their faith, “if they choose.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to include another SB Nation story regarding Liberty University and the final score of the Hokies-Liberty game Sunday night.