When the Chicken Sandwich Craze Turns Deadly

Maya Sabbaghian, Co-Managing Editor

In a Maryland Popeye’s location on Nov. 4, an argument arose after one person cut in front of another in line specifically intended for the infamous chicken sandwich. The two men went outside the establishment; one of them, a man named Ricoh McClain, allegedly pulled a knife out, stabbed and murdered Kevin Tyrell Davis, 28, according to NBC News. 

While not explicitly a fight over the chicken sandwich, rather over the frustration of cutting in line to get it, the altercation goes to show the spread and implications of the “Chicken Sandwich Craze.”

These types of instances illustrate a threatening trend in recent history, where a “hype” makes people act in ways that are wholly inequivalent to the object of their efforts. When people get swept up in the sensations, it often can be demeaning to people. 

When the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich first hit stores in August, the pandemonium to obtain the elusive sandwich resulted in people going to extreme lengths to purchase one, often sacrificing basic human values in the process. When a group of customers at a Houston Popeye’s learned the store ran out of the sandwiches on Sept. 3, they responded by pulling a gun, according to CNN. 

There have been several other instances where customers, out of their frustrations, berate the employees. This frustration implies that customers were so hyperfocused on being a part of the trend that they fell to a moral level far below what is appropriate or decent for any establishment. 

The Popeye’s “Chicken Sandwich Craze” illustrates on a greater scale the propensity people have for following trends. When a product is deemed elusive, many tend to worry only about obtaining the object of the attention, rather than ensuring they keep sight of their own moral values. Every year during Black Friday, this idea is emphasized when people only concern themselves with obtaining an object, sometimes committing violence in order to get it, thus losing their decency in the process. 

The Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich is, in the end, a chicken sandwich. Every person needs to recognize this, and that shouting at an employee or brawling over something like this is demeaning. The only way to fully prevent being swept up in a hype and to prevent falling to this low level is to be cognizant of the ultimate object of the endeavor and to deem if it is proportional. 

For a sandwich, it is not worth it.