During their sit down with GMA’s Robin Roberts, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson recounted the moments that led up to their arrest for trespassing at one of the coffeehouse chain’s Philadelphia locations last week.
Since video of them being taken into custody went viral, there has been a mounting backlash comprised of calls for protests and a boycott from the likes of celebrities like T.I. and Kevin Hart.
Following criticism over the company’s initial apology, CEO Kevin Johnson readdressed the situation by showing his face to express his regret over the situation on a more personal note. He’d also go on to order the announcement of a nationwide racial bias training that will result in the temporary closing of some 8,000 stores on May 29.
Many contend that, while such an initiative is being done with good intentions, it won’t have much of an impact on the issue at its root. But seeing citizens from various backgrounds join together from the moment witnesses took their side, to the succession of demonstrations that have since been staged, is nonetheless giving the young real estate agents whose harmless behavior was criminalized on that day, some hope.
“It’s not just a black people thing. This is a people thing,” Nelson told Roberts. “And that’s exactly what we want to see out of this and that’s true change…Put action into place.”