Former NFL Player Alleges Connecticut Supermarket Discriminated Against His Daughter Because Of Her Hair

A supermarket in Connecticut is being criticized for allegedly sending an employee home due to the red coloring in her braids.

The incident involves 18-year-old  employee Dior Pinnock, daughter of former NFL player Andrew Pinnock, who works at a ShopRite supermarket in Enfield, Connecticut. Pinnock’s daughter was reportedly asked to leave work due to the red braids she had in her hair, NBC Connecticut.

“There’s a point in time where you have to stand up for yourself. You can’t be pushed around, and you can’t just let things slide, so that’s what this stand was for,” Andrew Pinnock said.

The local NAACP chapter alleges the store’s actions violate Connecticut’s Crown Act, prohibiting discrimination against hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists commonly associated with Black people. 

However, the law does not explicitly mention specifics about hair color. The NAACP said they plan to hold a rally next Tuesday to voice their concern over how Dior was treated and shed more light on the issue of discrimination.

“She came to work to do her job, and then ShopRite tells her that she must leave based on her hair. That should not be tolerated. Not here in Enfield and nowhere across America,” CT NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile said.

ShopRite of Enfield released a statement in response.” ShopRite of Enfield has always been committed to creating a culture of inclusion and belonging for the associates we employ, the customers we serve, and the suppliers with whom we do business. All are to be treated with dignity and respect.

“We recognize that the movement to “Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair,” or “CROWN” is now the law in 24 states, including Connecticut.

“Connecticut law prohibits race and national origin discrimination because of certain hairstyles, including wigs, headwraps, braids, cornrows, locs, twists, Bantu knots, afros, and afro puffs. ShopRite of Enfield’s policies and practices related to dress strive to be inclusive. These hairstyles do not violate ShopRite of Enfield’s dress code policy, and we do not believe that the law was violated.

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