A Southern California surf shop decided Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday would be the ideal time for a January sale, so to make everything timely and cute they offered customers 20 percent off all of their black products in the store. No, it isn’t a joke. And yes, the offending shop has been forced to issue an apology.
OC Weekly reports that Thalia Surf Shop in Laguna Beach released the ad with a photoshopped image of the civil rights icon wearing a wet suit and calling out: “RESPECT. MLK Sale 20% off All Black Products.” Customers pointed out the obvious—it was distasteful and disrespectful of King’s legacy and work, and the shop’s owner Nick Cocores issued an apology:
In no way did we intend to hurt or offend anyone. For those that took offense or disrepect we truly are sorry. We took down the ad for our sale to hopefully calm the waters and in the future will be more careful in our selection of promotions. We appreciate the support from customers and patrons of Thalia Surf that know us and know that we meant no harm. Thanks.
It’s the kind of offense that we hesitate to share—free publicity for this store is not what they need. But shoppers who were so inclined had until Wednesday at midnight to hit up the sale, till the store took it down. Now folks will just have to wait until the store decides to celebrate Black History Month, perhaps?