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Starbucks reverses course on preventing Black Lives Matter apparel

Company providing T-shirts for staff to wear, express solidarity

The Starbucks logo hangs outside one of the company's cafes.
The Starbucks logo hangs outside one of the company's cafes. (2008 Getty Images)

Starbucks has quickly reversed a decision that would have prohibited its baristas from wearing apparel supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

The company publicly supports Black Lives Matter on its social media channels and in a press release but sent an internal memo to employees says baristas cannot do the same.

That was reversed in a tweet Friday that read, "We trust you to do what's right while never forgetting Starbucks is a welcoming third place where all are treated with dignity and respect."

Starbucks has long encouraged employees to wear apparel celebrating LGBTQ rights for Pride Month and hands out those items to baristas.

The tweet also said the company has designed T-shirts for staff to wear to express solidarity and they’re on the way.

Starbucks has a complicated history with racial bias.

In 2018, it temporarily closed down 8,000 company-owned cafes and ordered its 175,000 employees to learn and train about racism after a white Starbucks employee called the police on two black customers.