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Starbucks policy against Black Lives Matter apparel sparks backlash, new partnership

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A Starbucks logo hangs over a store entrance in Washington, DC June 11, 2019.  

NEW YORK — Starbucks sparked a backlash after it was revealed the company won’t allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter clothing or accessories.

The company cited its policy prohibiting political attire and said it was necessary “to create a safe and welcoming” environment for customers, according to BuzzFeed.

Many on Twitter expressed their disgust over the policy, calling for a boycott of the coffee chain.

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10:51 PM – Jun 11, 2020

227 people are talking about this


Some people pointed out that despite the no “politics” policy, the company has promoted LGBTQ Pride.

Lee from the Tea [email protected]

Starbucks has been selling Pride cups and gift cards, and they don’t say anything when baristas wear pride pins but standing in solidarity with Black lives is too political/“personal”???? Make it make sense.

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10:53 PM – Jun 11, 2020

17 people are talking about this


Still, not everyone was upset by the policy.

Mark Dice✔@MarkDice

This is GLORIOUS. Starbucks sent an internal memo banning employees from wearing any Black Lives Matter shirts or pins because it violates their policy against advocating for a “political, religious or personal issue” at work.

Now #BoycottStarbucks is trending. 😂


4:25 PM – Jun 11, 2020

7,366 people are talking about this


Last week, amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, Starbucks vowed it would “confront racism.”

On Friday, June 12, Starbucks tweeted the following:

“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.”

Starbucks Coffee✔@Starbucks

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.

View image on Twitter


9:55 AM – Jun 12, 2020

2,896 people are talking about this



After some store managers contacted company leadership regarding employees who wanted to wear Black Lives Matter attire, management pointed them to a video from the vice president of inclusion and diversity that said “agitators who misconstrue the fundamental principles” of the movement could use it to “amplify divisiveness,” according to BuzzFeed.

This is hardly the first time the Seattle-based company has faced calls for a boycott. In the past, Starbucks has drawn ire from both the left and the right over everything from racial profiling to hiring refugees to its Christmas cup designs.

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