People are boycotting Starbucks after they ban staff from wearing BLM attire

12 June 2020, 16:02

David Dobrik discusses his $50,000 donation to Black Lives Matter

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Starbucks reportedly said wearing BLM pins or t-shirts would violate its dress code policy and possibly incite violence.

Starbucks is facing backlash and boycott threats after the coffee chain allegedly banned employees from wearing attire associated with the Black Lives Matter movement whilst working.

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."

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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.

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.

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."

READ MORE: Here's how to support Black Lives Matter protesters in the US and UK

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