Elijah Scott was forced to leave work by a manager at Kroger supermarket in Springfield, Ohio, after a customer complained about his Colin Kaepernick jersey. Last Sunday, Kroger sent out a memo to all employees that everyone could show their team spirit by wearing an NFL jersey each and every Sunday with no stipulations on what players could be worn. Elijah Scott, 16, showed up with his Colin Kaepernick jersey on and he was promptly sent home because a customer didn’t approve of the jersey.
His mother, Diane Scott, immediately called to speak to the manager.
“They said it was Sept. 11th and Elijah was on company time and would not be allowed to disrespect customers.” she told New York Daily News. “They should’ve stood up for their employee and just let that customer go. My son didn’t do anything wrong.”
After national and social media outrage, Kroger has since apologized to Elijah for its actions.
“We are proud and privileged to employ a workforce and to serve a customer base as diverse as America,” read Kroger’s official statement. “We are aware of this situation and have apologized to Elijah and his mother. Diversity, inclusion and respect are among our company’s core values and ones we strive to live up to every day.”
Perhaps Kroger’s management team, and many others across the country would benefit from more familiarity with the law of the land. As the Supreme Court eloquently explained in its 1943 decision striking down a West Virginia law that required schoolchildren to pledge allegiance to the flag: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.”