After two black customers were arrested, Starbucks' chairman vows that their bathrooms are open for everyone

Lowenna Waters
Friday 11 May 2018 14:30
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Picture:(JohnFScott)

Starbucks will open their bathrooms to everyone that wants to use them, even if they're not paying customers, the chairman of the company Howard Schultz​ has announced.

The company has made the announcement in light of uproar after two black men were arrested in one of its Philadelphia branches for sitting in the cafe without ordering anything.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were taken away from the coffee shop in handcuffs, after the store's manager called 911.

They were accused of 'trespassing', but were later released without charge.

Speaking on Thursday, Schultz said he wants everyone to feel welcome in the coffee shops:

We don't want to become a public bathroom, but we're going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key.

He continued:

We don't want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to the bathroom because you are less than.

Schultz then addressed the incident that occurred on 12 April, when Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were taken away in handcuffs for sitting inside the location without having purchased anything.

We were absolutely wrong in every way. The policy and the decision [the store manager] made. It’s the company that’s responsible.

In light of the racism row, Starbucks has also vowed to close 8,000 of its shops for an afternoon to give its staff training on unconscious racial bias.

The training will be undertaken by 175,000 employees, and "will be the largest kind of training of its kind on perhaps one of the most systemic subjects and issues facing our country," Schultz said.

More: Black comedian demands free Starbucks, calls it 'black privilege'

More: This Starbucks barista called out white customers for problematic response to racial bias training

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