Two sisters were kicked out of a Pennsylvania mall for wearing hats with sparkly letters that read “F--- Cancer,” where the letter C was replaced with a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon. The sisters from Philadelphia were shopping for funeral dresses after their mother died of breast cancer last week.
“The logo, the saying, is the only expression that I feel is strong enough to defeat the word, defeat the disease,” said one of the sisters, Zakia Clark.
Their mother, Jackie Underwood, 51, had battled breast cancer since 2004.
Zakia, 29, and her sister Tasha Clark, 27, were shopping with a group of relatives and friends at the King of Prussia Mall. After two and half hours, a security guard approached the women in the mall’s food court.
Zakia said the guard, with no greeting, ordered them to “Take your hats off.”
She complied, but her sister Tasha, who was once a mall employee, asked the guard to see something in writing. "He said, 'Since you don't want to take your hat off, you can leave my mall,'" Zakia said. "He stood there while we ate and threatened to call the cops."
Soon seven more security guards arrived.
"I was very embarrassed," Zakia said. "My daughter was so scared she was crying."
They were escorted to the mall office, where their sister Makia, 32, met up with them.
"I couldn't believe they were acting like they were going to arrest my sisters," Makia said.
The women pointed out that the mall sells items with profanity on them.
“To say they don’t want that in their mall, but they sell it … it just wasn’t right,” said their other sister, Makia Underwood. “It wasn’t right to kick us out, and you sell things with curse words on them.”
A Merion Township police officer responded to a call from security guards at the mall.
"The officer said, 'I find it offensive that you even have that hat that says 'F--- CANCER,' " Zakia said. "He said, 'It's their mall, they want you out, you have to get out.'”
The women left the mall, with guards standing by their car until they departed the parking lot.
"I just wanted to tell them the whole story," Makia said of the guards. "I wanted to tell them a monster came into our house, got into my mother and we had to watch that until the day it took her, so don't tell me it's offensive to say, 'F--- CANCER.'"
A Google search comes up with many items that say f--- cancer from hoodies to wristwatches. Many don’t even bother to hide letters from the expletive.
A $249 wristwatch watch from London brand Mr. Jones Watches made a F--- Cancer watch as a compliment to another watch which reads, “Love Health.” The description of the F--- Cancer watch says, “Here these two ultra-negative words cancel each other out - the sentiment of the two combined is one of hope: a rejection of the fear that cancer brings."