Sam's employee asked to retake photo with 'Black Panther' shirt after member complains
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A local man was rewarded for his hard work with a spot on the employee of the month wall at Sam's Club.
But it's what he was wearing in his photo that has a customer calling repeatedly asking them to take it down.
T.C. Daniels has been an employee at Sam's for 10 years.
"They treat me great, I have no complaints," he said.
His positive attitude and willingness to help landed him the honor of employee of the month in August and a picture of him has been on the wall at Sam's since then.
Daniels took to Facebook recently where he said a member of Sam's Club started calling the store to complain about his photo.
In the photo, Daniels is wearing a 'Black Panther' shirt, one of his favorite Marvel superheroes.
"[My manager] said [the member] said my shirt is offensive, and if someone was in a KKK shirt, they wouldn't be allowed to wear that, so why are we allowing that," Daniels said.
Daniels said the caller made the Black Panther writing on his shirt political, when really Daniels says he's just a self-proclaimed Marvel fanatic.
"I can only assume he saw the character's name, saw the individual wearing it, and made whatever assumptions without knowing me, about me," Daniels added.
He says Sam's Club's compliance department asked him to retake the photo, but he's refusing.
"If I was violating dress code in a way I understand completely, but I feel like for me to take this down and retake it I'm letting this man win and that sends the wrong kind of message," Daniels said.
Sam's Club's issued a statement in support of Daniels.
"We respect and support T.C.'s decision not to retake the photo and agree that his shirt is not offensive. He is a great associate and his photo will remain posted."
Daniels says the managers in the store have been very understanding, but he said he will only retake the photo if he can show the shirt entirely.
He said he hopes to get this squared away with the compliance department.