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Oak Park Mall store employee out of job for confrontation with teen wearing MAGA hat

Twitter users posted video of an encounter between a Vans Off the Wall employee and a teenager wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The employee no longer works at the store, the company said.
Twitter users posted video of an encounter between a Vans Off the Wall employee and a teenager wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The employee no longer works at the store, the company said. Twitter

An employee of Vans Off the Wall in Overland Park’s Oak Park Mall is out of a job after a confrontation with a teen wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Part of the encounter at the footwear and apparel store Saturday was caught on video that also showed the teen’s mother asking for a store manager to address the incident. The video was posted online Sunday.

The mother said her 14-year-old son was asked to take off his MAGA hat as he entered the store. When he didn’t respond, she said, the employee said a curse word.

The video shows the woman complain to another employee at the store, who tells the woman to “go about your business.”

Instead, the woman demanded contact information for the corporate office.

“I tried to have a very respectful, very respectful conversation with him and it was disgusting how it was handled, to 14-year-old children that did nothing to him,” she said on the video, which was widely shared on social media.

A spokeswoman for Vans said the employee no longer works for the company.

Vans is an action sports footwear, clothing and accessories chain based in California.

Neither the former employee nor the mother could be reached for comment Monday.

In a statement, Laura Doherty, spokeswomen for Vans Global Brand Communications, said: “Our primary focus is to provide the best customer service experience. The actions and comments from one employee in our Oak Park location are in contrast with our company’s values and belief in personal expression.”

Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.


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