(ABC NEWS) -- The King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania kicked out three sisters last Sunday for wearing matching hats with a message: Fu*k Cancer. Over one of the letters was a strategically placed pink breast cancer ribbon.
The ladies, who spoke to the ABC News affiliate WPVI, said they were honoring their mother, who died last Tuesday of breast cancer and had battled the disease for four years.
“The logo, the saying, is the only expression that I feel is strong enough to defeat the word, defeat the disease,” Zakia Clark told WPVI.
The sisters were shopping for funeral dresses when a security guard approached them and asked them to leave.
“I said, ‘I’m not leaving. I spend money here and I’m not going to leave,’” Zakia told WPVI.
“He said, ‘You know what? Shut your mouth. That was your cue to stop shopping.’ So I removed my hat,” she said.
The incident was caught on camera and the women were kicked out.
The King of Prussia Mall told ABC News in a statement they were sorry for the misunderstanding.
“King of Prussia Mall extends [its] sincere condolences to Zakia Clark, her sisters and other family members. Sunday’s situation was a very unfortunate misunderstanding between our mall security personnel who are responsible for upholding the safety and integrity of the mall’s public spaces and this family at their time of loss. We have spoken with Zakia and believe we have resolved this misunderstanding as she graciously accepted our expression of sorrow for their loss and regret for the situation.”
When questioned on why the women were singled out for their attire, when stores inside the mall such as Urban Outfitters sell shirts that have the same expletives and are not censored, a mall spokesperson told ABC News that they “work with our retailers to avoid having any controversial material from being displayed directly in store front windows to help provide a pleasant and family-friendly shopping environment for our customers.”
“To say they don’t want that in their mall, but they sell it… it just wasn’t right,” Makia Underwood said. “It wasn’t right to kick us out, and you sell things with curse words on them.”
The sisters told WPVI that their mother’s funeral was set for today.
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