Swadley`s owner says quote `taken out of context` after backlash on tattoo comment

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ENID, Okla. - Swadley’s Bar-B-Q owner Brent Swadley is receiving backlash after comments he made regarding hiring employees with visible tattoos. In an interview with the Enid News & Eagle about his new store opening in Enid, Swadley told the paper, “We don't allow people who don't exemplify respect for themselves."

Tattoo parlor owner Lita Garcia says she understands the policy on not allowing visible tattoos, but what really upsets her is the comment about not respect yourself.

“It is the whole respect thing. Don't say that I don't have respect for myself because I have tattoos,” Garcia said. “Because I do.”

Swadley says he never meant to offend anyone. He knows how the quote came across, but says it doesn’t tell the whole story.

"Our goal is to create an environment that is exciting and acceptable that everybody loves,” Swadley said.

Swadley says the comment was taken out of context.

"It was actually about the overall hiring process, and not targeting those with tattoos. We drug test certain positions, we also do background checks, and credit checks in fact. We give them keys that have combinations to our safes,” Swadley said. “We want our entire environment to be safe. It had zero to do with tattoos.”

Garcia says she is open minded enough to hear Swadley’s explanation, she just wishes he would have chosen his words more carefully.

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