Starbucks To Let Employees Wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ Attire After Originally Banning It

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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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.

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.”

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.” ‘