A Louisiana man has been “removed” as the owner of a PJ’s Coffee location in New Orleans after he left a derogatory comment on a social media post from NBA star LeBron James, the coffee franchise said in a statement.
In the comment section of a Facebook status posted by the Los Angeles Lakers player that read “Protect our Young Black Women & Men,” Stephen Bruno Jr. responded to James: “Eat a [egg plant emoji].” That response caught the attention of Ken Barnes, who posted a screenshot of Bruno’s comment on Twitter.
Barnes also posted a photo of Bruno’s Facebook bio where he said he was a “franchisee at PJ’s Coffee.”
“When I made the post, I never said this is despicable, he shouldn’t say this, or he should lose his franchise, or he should be canceled or anything of that sort. I posted his words,” Barnes told KHOU.
PJ’s Coffee responded with a statement on Wednesday via Twitter, noting that Bruno was “removed” as an owner of the New Orleans shop location.
According to Eater New Orleans, both Bruno and his brother Roy Bruno own a PJ’s in the popular French Quarter neighborhood.
McClatchy News has reached out to PJ’s Coffee to clarify the specific actions taken against Bruno..