“These guys are just a bit worried about your presence in our store,” an employee was filmed saying, later stating, “They are just worried you might steal something.” One of the students then asked, “Why would we steal something?” The Apple representative simply said, “End of discussion. I need to ask you to leave our store.”
In response to the occurrence, which went viral on social media Thursday afternoon (Nov. 12), Apple issued an apology.
“Inclusion and diversity are among Apple’s core values. We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure all our customers are treated the way they should be.”
In an interview with 9NEWS, one of the students, Abdulahi Haji Ali, revealed his thoughts on the situation. “Because we were a group of black males – teenagers – and teenagers do a lot of stupid stuff but you still can’t give black people that stereotype,” he said. “Once we heard that we are all pretty shocked… I didn’t believe what I heard.” The statement was followed-up by his friend, Mabior Ater, who said, “It’s not fair, not everybody is a bad person because of what they look like.”