An Alabama restaurant called the police after a man refused to take off his T-shirt promoting breast cancer awareness, after servers at the restaurant said that the shirt's design might offend other customers.
Brian Studdard went to Niki's West restaurant in Birmingham to have a meal with his family to celebrate his father's 99th birthday, Daily Mail reports. Employees at the restaurant reportedly asked Studdard to change his pink shirt, which featured a drawing of a pair of breasts and the phrase "Breast Matters" in large print.
"One of the hostesses came to me and said some of the line servers thought my T-shirt was inappropriate or offensive," said Studdard of the incident.
"One of my best friends died a few months ago from breast cancer, one of my sisters is a breast cancer survivor, so it means a lot," Studdard added.
Studdard said that he had gotten the shirt after participating in a five-mile walk in Atlanta to raise awareness of breast cancer. The shirts reportedly sell for $10.99 on the website of James B-More Wharton, a Baltimore-based author.
The restaurant's owner is reported to have offered to give Studdard a different shirt to wear, but Studdard did not accept, saying that he didn't want to wear someone else's shirt. He also said he wasn't sure where the replacement shirt would be coming from, since Niki's West does not sell shirts.
As an alternative, Studdard offered to turn his T-shirt inside out, which the restaurant did not accept, according to WBRC.
Niki's West, a cafeteria-style restaurant, is reportedly known for its line servers becoming aggravated if customers don't already know how things work, according to AL.com. A number of signs advise visitors, from "No Cell Phones" to "No Tank Tops, No Belly Shirts, No Pajamas."
The restaurant also has a sign that reads: "Family Establishment, Modest Attire Required."
After Studdard declined to take the restaurant's replacement shirt, Niki's West reportedly called the police. A Birmingham officer confirmed that Studdard will be arrested if he returns to the restaurant in the future.
Niki's West has not released any statement or apology regarding the incident. Social media users have taken to the restaurant's Facebook page to tell them that their treatment of Studdard was wrong.
"Love your food, but I won't be back after the way you treated Mr. Studdard," commented one user. "Breast cancer is a killer, and you should support anyone who has been touched by it."
"Shameful to treat people the way y'all did," wrote another. "Doesn't cost a thing to be kind."