T.I. is reportedly calling for a boycott of Starbucks. The call to action comes shortly after a video of two black men being racially profiled and arrested while sitting in the popular coffee shop chain in Philadelphia went viral.
A video taken by a bystander at the Philly restaurant shows two black men being escorted out in handcuffs. According to various reports, the men were reportedly waiting in the restaurant for a friend to show up when an employee called 911, alleging that they were trespassing. The arrest sparked public outrage on social media, with many accusing Starbucks of treating its customers unequally based on the color of their skin.
But now T.I. is taking the fight from behind the screen, and attempting to hit the brand where it hurts – its wallet. “I think that we should reserve our right to stop spending our money places that don’t respect us equally,” the King told TMZ outside of LAX on Apr. 16. “I think that until they have made some progressive steps to let us know how to rectify the situation, I don’t see no other answer. If there’s one thing that America has shown us, there’s only two ways that you can get their attention: the loss of life and the loss of finances. I don’t have nothing personal against Starbucks…” The rapper also posted a message on Instagram, telling fans to boycott the restaurant.
Following the viral video, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued an apology on Apr. 15, stating that “these two gentlemen did not deserve what happened, and we are accountable.” Even so, T.I. isn’t ready to forgive and forget that easily. “Just an apology not gone get it,” he continued. “Every time we been slighted. every time we been disrespected, every time we been devalued, every time we been disregarded, it’s just a tweet an apology. okay it’s cool. There needs to be real action taken.”