Starbucks creates own Black Lives Matter shirt for employees

Starbucks creates own Black Lives Matter shirt for employees

Starbucks is creating its own Black Lives Matter shirt for employees to wear if they choose. The move comes after the coffee chain reportedly banned employees from wearing Black Lives Matter gear.

The T-shirt depicts protest signs with phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “Speak Up” and “Time for Change.” One sign shows a raised black fist. “It’s not a moment, it’s a movement,” the shirt reads.

Social media blew up over news reports that Starbucks had told employees in a memo they couldn’t wear Black Lives Matter shirts or other paraphernalia because it might be used to amplify divisiveness. Protests have been erupting around the globe over the death of George Floyd in the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, which has in turn re-energized the Black Lives Matter movement.

Starbucks did not respond to questions about its memo but said it is partnering with the Starbucks Black Partner Network and Black Starbucks leaders to make 250,000 shirts available to staffers in the U.S. and Canada. Until the corporate T-shirts are available, Starbucks staffers can wear their own Black Lives Matter T-shirts and other gear.

Starbucks Foundation last week pledged to donate $1 million to organizations that promote racial equity and social justice. The organizations will be nominated by employees.

Starbucks has run into problems over race issues before. In 2018 it closed all of its stores for anti-bias training after two black men in a Philadelphia Starbucks were arrested when a store manager called police on them for purportedly being in the cafe and not buying anything.

In 2015 Starbucks was widely panned for its effort to spark discussions around race by having baristas write “Race Together” on customers’ cups. The company quickly ended the practice in response to the criticism.

Pace University marketing professor Larry Chiagouris said while the flip-flop on Black Lives Matter gear conveys the company buckled under pressure and could lead to a backlash, he doesn’t expect any lasting damage to the brand since it has demonstrated that it has tried to do the right thing in other ways, like the $1 million fund or the anti-bias training.

“Most people will give them another chance, they’ll continue to work there and buy their coffee there,” he said.

The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearview Public Schools has honoured Cindy Zimmermann as the recipient of the 2020 Clearview Star Award

Zimmerman has also gone with Teachers Across Borders to share her talents for a semester in Vietnam

Library column: October is only a few days away!

Culture Days will be back next September, so keep watch for future announcements

Stettler Food Bank in solid shape thanks to community support

A hike in demand is expected in the coming months

UPDATED: Red Deer has nine active COVID-19 cases

Number of cases increased by 107 Friday

Man sentenced to 7 years for gas-and-dash death of Alberta gas station owner

Ki Yun Jo was killed after Mitchell Sydlowski sped off in a stolen cube van without paying for $198 of fuel

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Six injured, man in custody following BB gun incident in Alberta, RCMP say

Airdrie’s downtown core was told to shelter-in-place, while others nearby were asked to stay inside

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Wetaskiwin RCMP make arrests for Hit and Run to residence

Damage estimates are expected to be in excess of $20,000.

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

“My world exploded,” says Bentley-area farmer who’s swather was struck by a motorist

Dennis Duncan was a mile from home when his swather was struck by another travelling at high speeds

Local feral cat rescue looking for support

Bottle drive being held in Bashaw

UPDATE: Last kidnapping suspect arrested

Amber Knickle has been arrested and remains in police custody

Most Read