Kale Johnson, the founding owner of 56 Brewing, announced Thursday he has resigned from his role as CEO.
"I do not take this action lightly as I love 56 Brewing and I am so proud of what we’ve collectively created over the years," Johnson wrote in a post on the brewery's Facebook page. "However, it is apparent that my continued presence at the company is creating a negative impact to the company that I love. I understand now that recent and past events have caused people that I care about hurt and pain and for that I am truly sorry."
Johnson's resignation announcement only addresses his role as CEO, and does not mention whether he'll still be part owner of 56, a fact noted by several commenters replying to the post.
The post is Johnson's latest attempt to apologize for his racist treatment of a black former employee. That employee, Mahad Muhammad, went on record with the Growler in a story published today, filling in details on a disturbing joke Johnson made at his expense.
Muhammad says Johnson had fashioned a rope into a knot that looked like a noose, and said to Muhammad, "Come here, boy," in a rather obvious allusion to lynching him.
A second witness confirmed Muhammad's memory of the event.
Muhammad left 56 Brewing soon after, and wrote of the racist taunting in a resignation letter in 2018; Johnson wrote earlier this week he hadn't read the letter until now.
On Instagram this week, Muhammad rejected Johnson's description of his joke as a "construed injustice," and said the noose episode was "one of the lowest moments in my life, and I'm back reliving it."
Muhammad added: "I appreciate the support and love wholeheartedly!"