A Chicago deli owner has been ousted from his family business over a controversial tweet about the Las Vegas massacre.
Greg Morelli, whose family has owned Max’s Deli in Highland Park for three generations, agreed to leave the business this week over his reaction to the mass shooting, reported the Chicago Tribune.
“Soon as I heard it was country music, I felt relief,” Morelli said in the now-deleted tweet. “White people shooting white people isn’t terror … it’s community outreach. #LasVegas.”
Morelli also angered social media users a few weeks ago by posting an angry man wearing an “alt-right” T-shirt and giving a Nazi salute on the deli’s Facebook page to protest a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I have a Jewish deli, I am a Jewish man,” Morelli said at the time. “I am the first person that’s going to get a brick through the window if this plague is not stopped immediately.”
Co-owner Joey Morelli said his brother had agreed to leave the deli they own with a cousin, and he hoped to buy out his interest in the company.
“I didn’t want to be selfish, they didn’t ask for this,” Greg Morelli said. “A bunch of people who hate free speech published my phone number online and tried to destroy me and the business.”
Greg Morelli said he was heartbroken to be forced out of the family business, but his brother said customers were understanding.
“Most of the regulars that come in all the time know us and they know who Greg really is,” Joey Morelli said. “But I know it’s going to affect the bottom line if I don’t address it directly.”