Calls to boycott Jimmy John's resurface over elephant photo with sandwich chain's founder

Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
Jimmy John's is the eighth most expensed restaurants among business travelers, according to Certify. The average amount spent there is $39.27.

Jimmy John's is trending on Twitter, and it's not because of the Chicken Sandwich Wars or its free house contest.

The hashtag #BoycottJimmyJohns was trending Friday with calls for a boycott of the sandwich restaurant, after a photo of the company's founder and Jimmy John Liautaud with an elephant he killed resurfaced.

The photo itself is old and has frequently made the rounds on Twitter.

On Friday, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill retweeted an April 19 tweet and wrote: "Thumbs up to a boycott of all @jimmyjohns restaurants!"

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Brother Nature, who has a Twitter following of 2.3 million, also retweeted the April tweet and wrote "We boycotting Jimmy Johns."

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The tweet has been retweeted nearly 65,000 times and liked more than 175,000 at 2:45 p.m. ET, 11 hours after it was posted.

Twitter user @DiamondJoe1985 responded to Brother Nature's tweet with a plea.

"Please learn about African wildlife conservation before boycotting anything and making assumptions. Every damn time one of these pics pops up people go crazy and don’t have the slightest clue about the entire process," @DiamondJoe1985 tweeted to Brother Nature, which he retweeted. "And the actual benefits behind this type of hunting."

In 2015, the Chicago Tribune reported that Liautaud acknowledged a misconception about him is that people still connect him to photos of him posing with elephants, rhinos and other endangered animals he shot.

"I choose to hunt and I choose to fish," Liautaud told the paper. "Everything I've done has been totally legal. And the meat has been eaten, if not by me than by someone I'm with. I don't hunt big African game anymore."

Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jimmy John's boycott 2019: Calls for boycott over elephant photo