Editor’s note: The following story contains graphic language.
A gay Tennessee man says an Uber driver confronted him with homophobic and threatening language before trying to run him over after he requested a ride.
Ray Rico was leaving Dru’s Place, a popular Memphis gay bar, July 30 at the time of the confrontation, WREG-TV reports. As Rico got into the car with a box of pizza, he said the driver told him, “Faggot, no food in my car.”
At that point, Rico said he told the driver to stop and let him out of the car, at which point the driver responded, “Get the fuck out, you suck my dick.” When the customer attempted to hail another Uber ride, he said the same driver in the same car showed up, albeit with a different profile.
The driver allegedly told Rico, “Fuck you, fag. Suck my cock,” before putting the car into reverse and nearly backing into him.
“I don’t know, if he had a problem with gay people, why he was picking up from a gay bar,” Rico told WREG-TV. He shared his story, along with apparent screenshots of the alleged driver’s Uber profile and license plate, in a lengthy Facebook post.
A spokeswoman for Uber told WREG-TV that the company was “reviewing both parties’ involvement in the matter.” The rep also told the news station that the driver told her that Rico, who said he is working with police, had begun yelling obscenities at him as he was servicing a different customer.
An Uber representative did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment. However, a spokesperson told HuffPost that the company “does not tolerate any form of discrimination” in response to a June 8 story about another driver who was fired after allegedly using homophobic language toward a same-sex couple in Australia.
UPDATE: Shortly after this story was published, an Uber spokeswoman told HuffPost, “The reported conduct has no place on the Uber platform and we’re reviewing both parties involvement in the matter.”
She also provided links to the company’s standards, which specify its “zero-tolerance policy regarding all forms of discrimination, harassment or abuse,” and its non-discrimination policy, which prohibits drivers from discriminating against customers on sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and “any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.”
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