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In about-face, Starbucks will now provide Black Lives Matter T-shirts to baristas

Reports say employees were originally told not to wear BLM apparel
Posted at 2:11 PM, Jun 12, 2020

Starbucks announced Friday that it would be providing its baristas with Black Lives Matter T-shirts.

"Black Lives Matter. We continue to listen to our partners and communities and their desire to stand for justice together," the coffee chain tweeted Friday. "The Starbucks Black Partner Network co-designed t-shirts with this graphic that will soon be sent to 250,000+ store partners."

Starbucks' decision to provide employees with Black Lives Matter shirts comes days after BuzzFeed reported that employees were told they were prohibited from wearing apparel with the slogan at work.

According to BuzzFeed, a corporate memo was sent out in response to some managers' inquiries about allowing employees to wear BLM apparel that stated that the movement "could be misunderstood and potentially incite violence."

Starbucks reportedly classified Black Lives Matter apparel in the same category as "religious or political personal accessories." However, Starbucks has provided employees with branded LGBTQ-themed shirts for Pride month in the past and encouraged employees to wear them at work.

The ban on Black Lives Matter apparel came as Starbucks pushed messages supportive of the movement on social media.