An employee at a Publix supermarket in Lehigh Acres, Fla., said he quit his job recently after he was told by a supervisor that he wouldn’t be allowed to wear his “Black Lives Matter” mask on the job.
Quinton Desamours told the News-Press in Fort Myers over the weekend that he had worn a face mask that read “BLM,” an acronym for "Black lives matter," to work earlier this month.
But shortly after arriving at the store for work on June 6, Desamours said he was stopped by his assistant manager over the mask.
The 18-year-old told the paper that the supervisor said at the time that he was “was endangering myself and everybody else who worked there.”
“Then he said he couldn't have me out on the floor with that mask on,” he went on to recall of the incident.
Desamours said he quit the job, where he had reportedly worked for roughly a month and a half, shortly after, saying: “I don’t want to be a part of a company that’s not committed to making a change.”
"We have to make people uncomfortable to get change,” he also told the publication.
'This was never a political statement to me. It was all about equality and human rights," he also said.
The Hill has reached out to Publix for comment.
In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Publix said the company’s “uniform policy does not permit non-Publix messaging on clothing or accessories.”
But in an interview with a local ABC affiliate earlier this month, Desamours said that “many, many employees have different designs on their masks.”
“There is an employee that has a comic strip on his mask. So, it seems like they just didn't like the message I was trying to portray,” he continued.
"They say they stand for justice against racism and inequality but as soon as I stand up against something in their uniform, they don't like it," Desamours added.
The incident happened around the time Publix CEO Todd Jones sent an open letter to store associates that rejected “racism and discrimination” amid ongoing protests against police brutality and racial inequality and announced a $1 million contribution to National Urban League affiliates.
--This report was updated on June 17 at 9:37 a.m.