Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure is condemning the behavior of a female customer caught on video using a racial slur against another customer in a Sprint store in Virginia.
The video captures an unidentified woman referring to a Latino man as a "spic," a racial slur used against Hispanics and Latinos, and threatening to physically assault him. The video has gone viral, attracting nearly 50,000 retweets since being posted on Twitter by civil rights activist Shaun King, also a reporter for the New York Daily News.
"It's happened again," King wrote. "White woman calls polite Latino man a spic, threatens him, says she's offended to hear him speak Spanish. America. 2017."
Claure, who is of Bolivian descent, said Tuesday that he and thousands of fellow Sprint employees were "disgusted" by the woman's "profane, threatening and ugly language." In a statement titled "Racism Has No Place At Sprint," Claure also invited the customers involved in the incident to meet with him.
"It's time to talk. It's time to learn. It's time to heal. That's why I'm inviting this woman and her husband to meet privately with me so I can better understand what drives comments and behavior like this," Claure wrote. "I'd like to share my views with her as well. I also invite the customer she attacked, Juan, to meet with me. This kind of behavior is not tolerated in any Sprint workplace."
The video picks up in the middle of the woman's telephone conversation inside a Sprint store in Manassas, Virginia, as she tries to find another Sprint store to help her. A fellow customer who identifies himself as "Juan" can be heard telling her there is another store in Fairfax.
The woman responds by telling him, "I wasn't talking to you, and don't listen to my conversation ... you better watch who the f*ck you're talking to."
The woman goes on to threaten the man with physical violence in a profanity-laden tirade, after which the man leaves the store. After he leaves, the woman says, "They need to take his f*cking a** back to Mexico."
Claure went on to say that he and his company's employees will not tolerate individuals engaging in such inappropriate behavior.
"We will not compromise our principles by allowing divisive or hateful language to go unchecked in our stores or offices," he said.
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