Starbucks said Friday that it would be sending “Black Lives Matter” shirts to its employees, going back on a previous statement that wearing such items was not allowed.
Black Lives Matter. We continue to listen to our partners and communities and their desire to stand for justice together. The Starbucks Black Partner Network co-designed t-shirts with this graphic that will soon be sent to 250,000+ store partners. pic.twitter.com/Wexb45RcTE
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 12, 2020
The company announced that it has created shirts co-designed by the Starbucks Black Partner Network and will be shipping them to over 250,000 locations. (RELATED: Ohio GOP Senator Faces Backlash After Questioning Hygiene Of ‘Colored Population’)
“This movement is a catalyst for change, and right now, it’s telling us a lot of things need to be addressed so we can make space to heal,” Starbucks said in a statement, “We’re designing new t-shirts with a graphic to demonstrate our allyship and show we stand together in unity. Until these arrive, we’ve heard you want to show your support, so just be you.”
Black lives matter. We are committed to being a part of change.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 4, 2020
Starbucks said that wearing attire highlighting Black Lives Matter could be misunderstood and potentially incite violence, according to an internal memo obtained by Buzzfeed News last week
“My skin color incites violence at Starbucks. Should I not come to work?” Calvin Bensen, a Starbucks barista, told Buzzfeed News. “It is silencing and Starbucks is complicit. Now more than ever, Starbucks needs to stand with us.”
A spokesperson from Starbucks told Buzzfeed News that the old policy was necessary “to create a safe and welcoming” environment for staff and customers. “We respect all of our partners’ opinions and beliefs, and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work while adhering to our dress code policy.” ‘