A photo of a coffee cup from Starbucks has gone viral on Twitter and other social media because the barista printed the word “pig” on it. The reason the Starbucks employee put that rather insulting word on the label? The customer who bought the coffee was an on-duty police officer.
During Thanksgiving, an Oklahoma police officer stopped by a Starbucks in Glenpool, Oklahoma. He ordered five cups of coffee for all the dispatchers working that day. But, when he picked up the cups, he suddenly saw the word “PIG” printed on them.
It goes without saying that the officer immediately called Police Chief Johnny O’Mara to tell him about it, and to ask him what to do. O’Mara called the local Starbucks and spoke to the manager.
That manage, however, didn’t do anything except for telling the chief that they could reprint the labels. Obviously, O’Mara wasn’t impressed by that non-apology.
So he did what we should all do in such a situation: he posted a photo of one of the cups on social media, where it immediately went viral.
8 ABC Tulsa reached out to the local Starbucks, but the manager didn’t want to speak to any journalists. Instead, the news channel spoke to Jory Mendes, who’s also working for Starbucks. Mendes did apologize, saying that “[t]his is absolutely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and we are working to connect with the police chief as well as to express our remorse.”
The barista “has been suspended pending the outcome of our investigation into this matter,” Mendes went on to say. “This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”
After it became such a controversy, the barista reached out to the officer who received the cups to apologize. The employee also said it was meant as a joke.
Update 8:13 p.m.: Starbucks reached out to PJM with the following statement:
This is absolutely unacceptable, and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and connected with the Chief of the Kiefer Police Department as well to express our remorse.
The Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup used poor judgement and violated company policy. The partner has been suspended pending the outcome of our investigation into this matter.
This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.
The company issued a joint statement with the police department saying they plan to meet in the coming days to “begin discussing ways to work together” and to “look for educational opportunities for our partners across the United States to promote better understanding and respect.”