A Home Depot employee from Staten Island, New York claims she has received death threats after a photo of her wearing an "America Was Never Great" hat surfaced on the internet. Krystal Lake, a Bernie Sanders supporter, had the hat custom-made to mock Donald Trump's campaign slogan "Make America Great Again," which he has emblazoned on all types of merch.
"The point of the hat was to say America needs changing and improvement," Lake told the Staten Island Advance. "I don't think it's a positive message to say, 'Let's look to the past.'"
The 22-year-old wore the cap during her Sunday morning shift at Home Depot and it eventually ended up online. On Wednesday, Lake realized that she was being bombarded with negative comments and death threats on social media, and on Friday, someone even started a petition to boycott Home Depot until she is fired.
"They were actually threatening to kill me over a hat," she told The New York Times. "I couldn’t believe it. I was calling my best friend and I was like, 'How is this happening? It’s just a hat.'"
Following the incident, a spokesperson for Home Depot issued a statement saying that the company doesn't allow employees to wear buttons, caps, or T-shirts that reflect their political preferences regardless of the party affiliation or candidate. Additionally, the statement pointed out that any employee’s refusal to follow company policies could lead to termination.
Despite the criticism Lake faced, there have also plenty of people who consider Lake a hero for wearing the cap and want to buy one for themselves.
While speaking with The New York Times , Lake said that she plans to wear the hat again and hopes to order more. She posted this on Instagram on Thursday:
Lake did not immediately respond to Complex's request for comment.