It’s always a sad day when someone is degraded because of their skin colour. Recently a Lowe employee was asked to change his Black Panther shirt while at work as a customer found it offensive and racist.
Here’s what happened that day, 18-years-old Kyle Sales had recently started working at the Lowe’s in Bonney Lake, Washington. As he wasn’t there for long, Sales was not yet given the official work vest by the company. On that specific day, Kyle wore a Black Panther T-shirt to work with the movie’s title along with the slogan, ‘Wakanda Forever.’
While on shift, Kyle Sales was informed by a supervisor about a complaint from a customer had with his Black Panther shirt. The said customer insisted that the clothing was ‘offensive and racist.’ Speaking with KIRO7, Sales was utterly baffled, noting: “This is from a movie. How is this racist?” The teen was asked to change his shirt and did so after going home during his lunch break. Sales returned with a sports jersey.
A teen who works at the Bonney Lake @Lowes said he was told by a supervisor that he either had to go buy a new shirt or go home and change after a customer complained this “Black Panther Wakanda Forever” shirt was racist. @KIRO7Seattle pic.twitter.com/yOZN07i17m
— Michael Spears (@MichaelKIRO7) July 16, 2020
The story doesn’t end here. The said customer reportedly returned the next day to ensure that the employee had been adequately punished for his love for the Marvel movie. Explained Kyle Sales, “She came in throwing a fit, she’s like, ‘What happened to that kid wearing that shirt? What was his punishment?’”
The incident was frustrating for Kyle Sales. This incident reminded him of his other experiences dealing with racism. Says Kimberley Sales, Kyle’s mother, “That was pure, unadulterated discrimination.” Kyle is also calling for changes to the company’s protocol to deal with such a situation.
Lowe’s apologized to Sales in an official statement released to Fox News. “Mr. Sales should never have been asked to change his shirt, and we have apologized to him directly,” the statement reads. “We know this is a teachable moment, and we will take action to coach and train the managers at the store to help prevent this from happening again. Diversity and inclusion are important to our culture at Lowe’s, and we remain committed to fostering an environment where all individuals are safe, treated fairly, valued and respected.”
Marvel Comics’ Black Panther was directed by Ryan Coogler and starred Chadwick Boseman in the titular role.