Makia Underwood, 32, Zakia Clark, 29, and Tasha Clark, 27, said they were wearing their hats -- which read "[expletive] cancer," which the "c" in the profane word replaced with an awareness ribbon -- to the King of Prussia Mall in honor of their mother, Jackie Underwood, 51, who died May 14 after a four-year battle with breast cancer, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday.
The women, who were shopping for their mother's funeral, said they were approached by security officers who told them to remove their hats or leave the mall.
"I said, 'I'm not leaving. I spend money here and I'm not going to leave,'" Zakia Clark said. "[The security officer] said, 'You know what? Shut your mouth. That was your cue to stop shopping.' So I removed my hat."
However, the women were still forced to leave the mall, WPVI-TV, Philadelphia, reported Wednesday.
"King of Prussia Mall is a proud supporter of breast cancer awareness and other important causes however, the mall is first and foremost a family destination," the mall's manager said in a statement. "In keeping with the mall's Code of Conduct, security approached the women who were first asked respectfully to remove their caps and when they refused, were asked to leave."
However, the women said they were upset because mall stores including Urban Outfitters sell clothing bearing expletives in plain view.
"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."