People are boycotting Starbucks after they ban staff from wearing BLM attire
12 June 2020, 16:02
Starbucks reportedly said wearing BLM pins or t-shirts would violate its dress code policy and possibly incite violence.
Starbucks actually showed their support for the movement and the Black community after protests erupted worldwide in response to police brutality and racism. On June 1, Starbucks tweeted: "We will confront racism to create a more inclusive and just world. We stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers and communities. We will not be bystanders."
However, Buzzfeed reports that despite expressing their solidarity, Starbucks managers in the US banned employees from wearing items supporting Black Lives Matter at work.
According to an internal memo, if employees highlighted their support of BLM it could result in violence from customers. It also goes against their dress code policy, which states: "Partners may only wear buttons or pins issued to the partner by Starbucks for special recognition or for advertising a Starbucks-sponsored event of promotion [...] partners are not permitted to wear buttons or pins that advocate a political, religious, or personal issue."
In response, Starbucks employees noted how they are able to wear accessories that support LGBTQ+ rights and they have received pins and shirts for Pride Month.
Starbucks have now been accused of defending their "racist customers" and now people are threatening to boycott the coffee brand.
People also stressed they would be heading to black-owned coffee shops in future.
#BoycottStarbucks— django 🧸 (@djanguh) June 11, 2020
starbucks is already experiencing a 45% sales drop + they're closing 400 u.s locations permanently. if we boycott now, we're for sure going to get their attention. @Starbucks banning BLM merch but saying "we are committed to being a part of change"? explain.
To all the black people who LOOOOOVE Starbucks.. Starbucks has banned their employees from wearing anything BLM related...... B O Y C O T T 🗣— jas 🏳️🌈 (@___jkitty) June 11, 2020
You choose to be on the wrong side of history @Starbucks If you're afraid of pissing off your racist customers, you're just as guilty. This movement is about morals, not politics, not revenue, but right and wrong. #BLM pic.twitter.com/ApYOGMyyKR— Casey Moore (@cmoore1724) June 11, 2020
I might get fired for this but I’m calling @Starbucks out, how are y’all gonna say we can’t wear any anything BLM bc it’s a personal issue,but have us wear and profit off pride month shirts,cups,gift cards. BLM and Pride were both created to fight injustice, what’s the difference— 🙎🏽♀️ (@0ri_Molina) June 11, 2020
Starbucks claims to support BLM but they advertise on Fox News and they also rent space from Donald Trump in Trump Tower.#BoycottStarbucks— Secret Agent Number Six (@DesignationSix) June 11, 2020
not a coffee drinker but “MY COFFEE SHOP” AND “JUST ADD HONEY” ARE BLACK OWNED BUSINESSES YOU CAN SUPPORT IN ATL INSTEAD OF STARBUCKS— love. (@kalm_insanity) June 11, 2020
To all the #BoycottStarbucks people shocked that Starbucks is against BLM, do you not remember in 2018 when their employees wouldn't let 2 black customers use their restroom and then had them arrested for trespassing?😑— Sam (@xoxoxoitssam) June 11, 2020
plss this is not shocking😏 pic.twitter.com/ivisJ9nl0y
No BLM but LGBTQ+ support right? SO CARING FOR BLACK LIVES IS A POLITICAL ISSUE/ PERSONAL ISSUE?! Starbucks take that shit off your Instagram, you ain’t really with us! #BoycottStarbucks pic.twitter.com/F6PArLH8va— Rhoda (@rhodaspicce) June 11, 2020
A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed to Buzzfeed that whilst the company is committed to helping end "systemic racism", its dress code policy still stands in order "to create a safe and welcoming environment for customers and staff".
"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," the spokesperson said.
Hello. All U.S. CO partners will be sent a Starbucks partner shirt to lend our collective voice in support of our Black partners, customers and communities. The design will come from the Black Partner Network emphasizing our role and responsibility to not be bystanders.— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 11, 2020
Starbucks also confirmed that they would be sending out shirts (which read "keep it brewing") in support of Black employees on Twitter.
They wrote: "Hello. All U.S. CO partners will be sent a Starbucks partner shirt to lend our collective voice in support of our Black partners, customers and communities. The design will come from the Black Partner Network emphasizing our role and responsibility to not be bystanders."