Controversy over 'black labs matter' sign in front of barbershop

NORTON, Mass. ( -- There is controversy Tuesday night in Norton over a barbershop sign that many say makes light of the Black Lives Matter movement.

A sign outside Tom's Barbershop that says "black labs matter" and suggests supporting the MSPCA is getting a strong reaction in Norton. But Barber Tom Stevens says humor is his way of life.

"It's just a sign, it's a way to have fun, it's a way reach out, it's a way to tell people I'm here," he said.

But some residents say this sign outside his barber shop is far from funny.

"Putting a joke to something that hurt so many people, it's not the right way to go," one resident said.

"So I think it's kinda funny when you can make a play on words, and the MSPCA is a good thing to support, so black labs matter," Stevens said.

Many voiced their frustration on social media, one person writing: "Of course I'm an animal rights supporter but in the grand scheme of things, yeah what he put on his sign could be very offensive I would be offended by it."

Stevens responded online, saying, "Some people need to lighten up. Ha ha ha pun intended."

Still Tom stands by his statements.

"I guess a bunch of people are getting offended by it, but like I said, I don't care," he said.

While others insist it's no laughing matter, Tom points out that he does use the sign to draw donations, which he gives to local charities.