A server at a bar filmed a video shaming Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts for not wearing a mask during a public appearance.
That server was fired after the video she posted went viral.
At the time, Karina Montanez, who is a single mother, was working at DJ’s Dugout when the Governor made an appearance on election night where he and his cohorts mingled without face coverings.
Montanez filmed Ricketts and posted the video on Twitter, with the caption:
“bald headed ricketts in the building y’all!”
🙄 bald headed ricketts in the building y'all! pic.twitter.com/63oqaSgw4Q
— 🦋Keezyoko🦋 (@keezyvondoom) November 4, 2020
In the video, she zoomed in on Ricketts and his group from afar and asked if he was missing something.
“Hey, Pete, where’s your mask? Where’s your mask, Pete? What are you doing, Pete?”
“We’re in a pandemic, Pete.”
She turned the camera to selfie mode, revealing Montanez had pulled down her mask for the video but later assured she was alone at a safe distance from others in “the cubby room.”
KPTM reported that Montanez’s video allegedly went viral after Senator Megan Hunt (D-Nebraska) promoted it.
Montanez was fired after posting the video on November 3 and was not given a specific reason as to why.
“I wasn’t bashing the restaurant. Yes, the video was recorded in the restaurant but the purpose of the video was to show people how our governor is about while we’re in this pandemic where people are literally dying.”
But Twitter had her back.
keep your head up! you did the right thing by sharing.
— AK47 Media / Alex Kidwell (@AlexKidwell47) November 19, 2020
Well DJs Dugout lost a few customers
— I need a new name. (@fthptthhhh) November 19, 2020
It is time to inundate your bosses and this decision to fire you for doing your civic duty. I'd be upfront about the restaurant and how to contact them!#MaskUp
— Canary in the Coal Mine (@Euthyphraud) November 19, 2020
I used to like going to @DJsDugout. Good thing there are plenty of other great sports bar options for me and my friends! Firing a server over a highly important & relevant issue is shady. The manager should have addressed the large group w/o masks & social distancing. By DJs! 👋🏼
— 🌸🌺JayBee3🌺🌸 (@LdyHzkr) November 20, 2020
Sunni Renner–the CEO of DJ’s Dugout–issued a statement explaining she terminated the employee because she used her cellphone during her shift, which is a company violation.
However, Montanez, who worked at the establishment for two-and-a-half years, disagreed.
She noticed other employees that night also took out their devices “while on the floor and on the clock.”
Montanez told followers she was “fired for posting this tweet” on November 17 and asked for donations from followers.
Since i just got fired for posting this tweet, if anyone would like to donate to this lovely single mama, I'll be posting my venmo and cashapp shortly 🤣
— 🦋Keezyoko🦋 (@keezyvondoom) November 17, 2020
People sent her words of encouragement and money via Venmo and Cash App.
I sent you a little something, sis. I hope it helps.
— Sharon Henderson, DNP (@DrNPSharon) November 20, 2020
Just donated 🤦🏾
— Alexis Bromley (@alexisabromley) November 18, 2020
Just sent a few $. Good for you for putting it out there.
— Jo (@artobsessed4) November 19, 2020
Some one help this woman get a JOB BACK…..Thank you…
— Doug Phillips (@dougp484) November 19, 2020
please tell me someone face the young lady a better job and the opportunity to better her life. Probably even a run for congress. She’s not afraid to stand up to our leaders.
— Hello World (@HelloWo15928736) November 20, 2020
She was overwhelmed by the online generosity and told the Daily Dot:
“I honestly thought the reaction i was going to receive was the complete opposite, so it’s very encouraging and heart warming how many people are supporting me and are by my side during this scary transition!”
To everyone who is sharing this, sending me love on venmo and cashapp, thank you 🥺😭 y'all have no idea how much better u guys are making me feel today by having my back on this shituation
— 🦋Keezyoko🦋 (@keezyvondoom) November 18, 2020
In addition to shaming the establishment for firing Montanez, people also slammed the maskless Governor.
The one who should be fired is Ricketts. This is not about freedom or liberty, this is about all Americans working together to rid our country of this terrible virus. People are dying, this country a supposed world leaders is acting like a third world country. We can be better.
— Commonsense (@Commonm70980959) November 20, 2020
Good job . Hold him accountable. I don’t understand the problem with having mask mandate . 🤦♀️
— Habesha (@Habesha99) November 20, 2020
Thank you for doing the right thing by taking this video. Ricketts wants us to be a role model. Maybe he should start following what he preaches. He also needs to start listening to @unmc
— allison (@allison07460615) November 20, 2020
In light of the video that went viral, Taylor Gage–director of strategic communications to the Governor–argued in favor of Ricketts being sans mask and commented:
“The Governor was wearing a mask when entered and exited the establishment. The Governor removes his mask temporarily for pictures and did so that evening.”
“The Governor also removed his mask when sitting down at the establishment. The state does not require people to wear masks when seated in bars or restaurants.”
Montanez still does not know why she was exactly let go, but she did have this to say:
“I guess the big takeaway is you never know what can happen so just be careful what you post.”