One hardware store is facing backlash after promoting a controversial slogan. The Toronto Home Hardware store in Roncesvalles has been forced to remove its "All Lives Matter" sign after photos of it started to circulate online. The location has since apologized for its actions.
The business' lightbox was used as a way to promote the message, "All lives matter. Be Kind. Be safe," which some residents criticized for representing anti-Black racism.
The store's sign began causing waves after a photo of it was shared via Instagram on July 7.
It didn't take long for people to start denouncing the business and its owner for using the slogan, with some going as far as to say they would never return to the location.
"Wow, that used to be the Home Hardware that I would go to when I lived there, no more that's for sure, or any of them after seeing their responses on your story," wrote one user.
The phrase "All Lives Matter" is primarily used as a counter to the Black Lives Matter movement, an organization that fights against police brutality and other anti-racism issues.
The sign has since been removed, and Home Hardware has issued a public apology over the incident.
The company states that they have forced the owner of the store location to consult with a diversity consultant.
"We do not tolerate any form of discrimination. Pollocks Home Hardware has removed the sign, and the owner apologized. The store owner now recognizes the slogan has been used to dismiss important conversations about systemic racism. To this end, he has engaged with a diversity consultant," read a tweet from the retailer.
The store's owner, Len McAuley, also issued his own apology.
"I, Len McAuley, am truly sorry for any hurt I have caused. I am taking a pause to recognize the impact of my mistake. This was done in ignorance, not in malice. I take full responsibility for my mistake, and I am striving to do better, by listening and learning," it reads.
McAuley states that he does believe Black lives matter and acknowledges that he has "work to do" to make things better.