CONROE – Three Black teens said on last Tuesday after they ordered at Smoothie King on West Davis Drive in Conroe, their receipt read “3 negroes to go.”
A news conference was held outside the Smoothie King on Tuesday, March 29.
“These young beautiful brothers are three young African American men,” said activist Quanell X. “They are three young Black men. They are not three negroes.”
The Rainbow Push Coalition and community activist Quanell X were joined at the news conference by the parents of the teens.
“They should be able to walk into any establishment and not be racially profiled by the color of their skin,” one of the moms said.
They demanded the employee be fired.
However, Smoothie King said that the employee was terminated on March 24.
“We were told he was going to be suspended and retrained,” Quanell X said.
KPRC 2 reached out to Smoothie King about why the parents were initially told the employee would go through retraining instead of being immediately terminated.
“After further investigation and given the fact that Smoothie King has a zero-tolerance policy, the local franchisee decided the best course of action was to terminate the team member,” Smoothie King wrote in a statement.
“I’m very disappointed that they chose not to terminate in the beginning,” Quanell X said.
Smoothie King’s full statement on the incident:
“It is important for us to state that we are and always have been committed to creating an inclusive environment that treats all team members and guests with kindness and respect and we have zero tolerance for discrimination or racism. In response to the incident that took place at our Conroe location, the local store owner took immediate action and terminated the employee involved and made a personal phone call to the individuals’ parents to extend apologies and resolve the matter. The local owner also took further action and enforced mandatory retraining for all employees that outlines proper inclusion protocol. As an independently owned and operated franchise location, we will continue to remain diligent in our efforts to create an environment free from hate.”