Story at a glance

  • American Airlines said the decision came after Black employees saw workers at other airlines wearing Black Lives Matter pins and asked if they could do the same.
  • American is working with its Black Professional Network to design its own company-specific Black Lives Matter pin that may be worn with the airline uniform.
  • The move by the airline drew backlash on social media and from some employees.

American Airlines will allow crew members to wear Black Lives Matter pins on their uniforms, according to the Associated Press (AP)

The airline joins businesses such as Starbucks, Delta Air Lines, Taco Bell and several other major corporations that allow employees to wear merchandise supporting the movement that has become reenergized following the police killing of George Floyd in May. 


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“Fundamentally, we believe Black Lives Matter is an expression of equality, not a political statement,” Sarah Jantz, an American Airlines spokeswoman, said according to AP. “It doesn’t mean other lives don’t matter, rather that in our society Black lives should matter and be valued the same as others.” 

The airline said the decision came after Black employees saw workers at other airlines wearing Black Lives Matter pins and asked if they could do the same. 

American is working with its Black Professional Network to design its own company-specific Black Lives Matter pin that may be worn with the airline uniform, as it has with other groups, including Christian, Veteran and LGBTQ+ groups. Until a company pin has been made, employees are allowed to sport their own Black Lives Matter pins. 

The move by the airline drew backlash on social media, with some slamming the airline and calling the Black Lives Matter movement racist, Marxist and anti-police. Several employees spoke out against the decision as well, according to the New York Post

Demonstrations erupted nationwide over police brutality and racial injustice after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis Police on Memorial Day. 

While the majority of protests have been peaceful, some have turned violent as they’ve led to clashes between protesters and police. 

Published on Sep 08, 2020