A sandwich shop in Davis, Calif., has closed after the franchise owner made a statement likening the Black Lives Matter organization — an anti-racism advocacy group — to the Ku Klux Klan.
Mickey Mann, the franchise owner of a Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop, had his store shut down by corporate after an email he sent to his staff was re-shared to social media.
As seen on Twitter, Mann’s aggressive email begins by warning his staff that the turmoil in the store “will not be resolved to your liking.” Wendy Weitzel of the Davis Enterprise reported that Mann wrote the email after an employee wore a Black Lives Matter pin to work, bringing politics into the store.
The letter then goes on to emphasize that the owner does not support Black Lives Matter — which he both underlines and highlights in red.
“I never have and I never will. You do not have arguments that can change my mind,” the man writes.
Later in the letter, he claims his staff is trying to “force and are continuing to try to force your beliefs on me” before stating “the BLM is the flip side of the KKK.”
“Their tactics are out of the Mafia play book. They are no better that [sic] some of the worst oppressive regimes in the world,” the man continued without explanation.
Owner Mickey Mann called police, claiming he was concerned his business would be vandalized by protestors.
The lengthy letter went on to accuse more of his staff of bullying him and “attempted oppression” with support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The owner accused his employees of “libel, slander and threats” and said the Police Department had been alerted of the events. According to Weitzel, Mann called police, claiming he was concerned his business would be vandalized by protestors.
To close out the email, Mann stated he had “no fear of fake Yelp reviews designed to bend me to your will. I have no fear of any or all of your quitting. We started the store with zero employees, so if necessary, we will rebuild from zero again.” He did not state whether he was concerned about his store being closed.
To end the email, Mann put it to his employees that there will be “no pins, no [tip] jars, no discussion of BLM in my store,” and those who “stay on you will need to show appreciation and gratitude for my capitulation that you achieved.”
Mr. Pickles corporate called Mann’s statements “alarming and painful” in a message posted on Instagram. The sandwich company went on to state that it had “made the decision to terminate his franchise and is now permanently closed to business.” However, Mr. Pickles did say that if the location reopens, it will not be under Mann’s leadership.
Since the fallout, Mann said in an interview with ABC10 that he defends his statements, claiming he does not allow politics in his shop — and insisted he would not allow a MAGA hat in his store, either. However, he does reportedly regret sending the email.