Tesco delivery driver ‘called gay man batty boy in homophobic traffic row’
Tesco is conducting an “urgent” investigation after a man was allegedly homophobically abused by one of the firm’s delivery drivers.
Mark David Woollard, a columnist for Gay UK magazine, claims he was called a “batty boy” by an irate Tesco delivery driver, while driving home from work on Wednesday night.
He tweeted: “I have just been verbally and homophobically abused by a @Tesco home delivery driver! He called me a BATTY BOY!”. He urged Twitter users to share the driver’s registration details.
The event allegedly happened after the driver flashed his lights at Woollard, as he wasn’t driving quick enough.
According to the columnist, the pair got into an argument at a set of traffic lights, before the driver shouted the slur, and drove off.
The delivery worker supposedly yelled the homophobic insult from his van window after Mr. Woollard stuck two fingers up at him.
“Now a bit of road rage, I can accept but don’t bring sexuality, colour, religion or whatever into it”, he said, adding, “no one should have to face any kind of prejudice”.
A worker for the business contacted Mr. Woollard to apologise for the “appalling behaviour”, asking whether the writer would like an apology from the store manager.
However, Woollard rebuffed the store’s apology for the incident, which he labelled a hate crime, saying: “It seems @tesco think an apology is good enough for a hate crime!!”.
He told PinkNews: “I don’t really think it’s heartfelt, to be honest. I don’t know what I want to see happen. But I definitely want the driver to learn that prejudice is not okay”.
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A spokesperson for the business has since replied to the tweet, asking Mr. Woollard to provide details of the event, so that it can be investigated as a “matter of urgency”.
Other social media users have been quick to rally around the Gay UK writer, with one saying: “Disgusting behaviour, completely unacceptable let’s hope he gets dealt with, particularly as Tesco is such a big supporter of Pride and an advocate of autonomy and freedom of expression”.
Another criticised Tesco’s response, adding: “Tesco seem to think that an apology from the store manager is acceptable for a hate crime being committed?”.
PinkNews has contacted the supermarket chain for comment, but they did not respond before publication.