Shop owner loses franchise after comparing Black Lives Matter to the KKK

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DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) — A franchisee of a Mr. Pickle’s Sandwich Shop in California has been stripped of his store after comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the mafia and the Ku Klux Klan. 

The former owner, Mickey Mann, told KTXL that he stands by his comments but regrets having put them in writing. 

“I was very, very wrong putting that in writing. It’s cost me my store,” said Mann. 

Mann said he wishes he had not sent that email to his employees.

He explained that it all started when some of his employees wanted to wear BLM buttons while working at the shop. 

“In this store, for eight years, we’ve had a policy of no politics. And that would include any far right group. It would include a Trump hat. It would include BLM,” said Mann. 

One employee decided to still wear the button. After Mann told her to go home, he said several protesters began to gather outside of his store. 

“They did mention that I should take into consideration that these kind of stances are what cause shopping centers to get busted up,” said Mann. 

One of Mann’s former employees sent the following statement to KTXL, saying she eventually decided to quit:

I felt it was important to wear the BLM pin at work as a small reminder that we are in a time of mourning for George Floyd and all other African Americans killed by police and victims of institutionalized racism. Once the racism and ignorance was revealed, I quit because it went against my morals to continue working for a business owner that is deeply racist.

Anonymous Former Employee

According to Mann, he and his wife decided to put up a donation jar instead, with the money going to BLM. 

“And not only that, between corporate, my wife and I, we would cut a check for $500 made out to BLM and in the name of the employees,” said Mann. 

He said he also offered to cover employee shifts if they wanted to participate in protests happening in Sacramento. 

But in the end, matters got worse. He wrote the email that led Mr. Pickle’s corporate office to pull his franchise. 

“I should have never written that. Do I not feel that way? No. At this point, it’s obvious I feel that way,” said Mann. 

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