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Subway faces backlash over ‘distasteful’ sign referencing Titan implosion

“The sign has since been removed,” Subway confirmed to

A sign on a franchise of America’s most popular sandwich chain was taken down after it made light of the Titan submersible tragedy.

On July 1, Brooklet, Georgia resident Timothy Mauck posted a photo that has since gone viral. In the image, the sign outside a Subway sandwich shop in nearby Rincon, Georgia reads, “Our subs don’t implode.”

The sign in question.
The sign in question.Courtesy Timothy Mauck

The sign references a recent tragedy which dominated headlines in late June when five people aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible died after it imploded tens of thousands of feet below the surface of the water. 

The submarine was on a voyage to see the wreck of the Titanic before it lost contact with those above water on June 18 and went missing for four days. After the wreckage of the submersible was found, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed all five passenger’s deaths on June 22, saying debris found was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion.”

Reaction to the image has mostly ranged from utter disbelief to anger.

“That’s just wrong,” commented one Facebook user.

“That’s disrespectful as f---!” commented another. “Bet if that was their family they (wouldn’t think) it’s so funny.”

“This is tacky to say the least. In Rincon, GA. Be better Subway,” someone else tweeted.

“@SUBWAY this is at your store in Rincon, GA. Not only is it distasteful, it’s just sad. Do better,” tweeted another person.

But there were some supporters of the sign who found the joke funny.

“I’m sorry, its so wrong,” wrote one person on Reddit, where the image has spread like wildfire. “But it did make me chuckle.”

“I chuckled too. It’s actually clever,” wrote another Redditor. “Humor, by its nature, insults someone every time. We should lighten up.”

When reached for comment, Subway confirmed it was aware of the sign and say it has spoken to the franchise about it.

“We have been in contact with the franchise about this matter and made it clear that this kind of comment has no place in our business,” a Subway spokesperson tells “The sign has since been removed.”

A follow-up post by Mauck confirms this: In an image he posted July 2, the same Subway sign now appears blank.

Mauck says he took the photo because he found the sign to be surprisingly disrespectful.

“I’m sure it would be disrespectful to the family, you know what I mean?” Mauck tells “It was a very uncalled for kind of thing because that’s a place of business, and for one of their employees to put that up on their sign that only lets everybody know that the situation is a joke.”

Mauck says that even though he was taken aback by the sign, he “didn’t expect it to go as far as it went.”

Although Mauck doesn’t see the humor in it, the Titan submersible tragedy has inspired the internet to create quite a collection of "eat the rich"-style memes and jokes about the fate of the wealthy passengers, who paid $250,000 each to take their ill-fated trip.

“I actually stopped on the highway just to take a picture of it,” Mauck says, adding that he couldn’t get it out of his head. “I’ve told many people, ‘You know, if it was your family, whether it was a situation like that or if it was just another tragic accident, and people were to make fun of them, it wouldn’t be so funny to you, would it man?’”