Walmart recently suffered backlash after banning a store greeter, James Philips, from telling customers, “Have a blessed day.” According to ABC 13, an unnamed customer reportedly complained about Phillips’ signature greeting because of the seemingly religious context. So, the Blue Ridge, Georgia, Walmart’s management team asked him to stop saying it. However, no one probably anticipated the overwhelming backlash the store would face for the controversial order.
Even Phillips has expressed that he was quite surprised by the outpour of support. He recently shared his opinion of the community’s decision to stand behind him. While Philips told WSB-TV that he didn’t intend to start a movement, it appears he has. Once the situation was reported on the local news, many social media users also took to WREG’s Facebook page, slamming Walmart and defending Phillips.
Here’s what supporters are saying.
“I wasn’t trying to start a movement, but I am very appreciative that people thought enough of me to stand up for me this way. I want to just be one of the best greeters I know how to be,” Phillips said.
“As an atheist I wouldn’t get upset. Have a bless day doesn’t really concern religion to me. It’s their way of being nice. Even when someone says they will pray for me. I don’t throw a fit. It means they are thinking of me. THEIR WAY OF BEING NICE. It’s just an idiot wanting to start drama here. Nothing new. Move on.”
“There is a Wal Mart I frequent that the buggy guy says this exact statement. He’s the only reason I keep going to that one bc his energy and positive spirit just makes you feel better! Never a religious thing but a human caring for another human. And that’s rare!”
“Have a blessed day doesn’t even have to involve religion…..who wouldn’t want to have a blessed day?”
Due to the overwhelming response, Walmart’s management team reportedly released a statement in regards to the situation. The store announced that Phillips would be allowed to continue sharing his signature greeting, reports KFOR.
“The manager relayed the customers concerns with his greeting. Management also reiterated with our associate this morning that he is welcome to share his greeting with our customers.”
“They tell me, some of them do, when I tell them, “Have a blessed day,” they can be upset or mad and it goes away when I tell them that, so that’s God working, not me,” said Philips.
What do you think about Walmart temporarily banning Philips from saying, “have a blessed day?” Share your thoughts.
[Image via YouTube]