Uber has fired an Australian driver who was caught using homophobic and threatening language toward a same-sex couple.
Lucy Thomas, CEO of the local anti-bullying advocacy organization Project Rockit, said she and her girlfriend were riding in a car in Melbourne on June 4 when their driver began making anti-gay comments, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The driver, who has been identified only as "John," told Thomas he hated football because the players were "a bunch of faggots who go around touching each other." He continued to use offensive language, Thomas said, including "spastic" and "retard."
"His tone was really cheery, but when he paused, I said 'Listen, I understand the spirit of what you're saying, but for me and others in my generation, that word is totally offensive,'" she told Mashable.
When John discovered that Thomas and her girlfriend were a couple, he "stopped being cheery and a cloud came over him."
"He was very aggressive and the tone changed," Thomas said. At that point, she began recording the interaction on her phone. She later tweeted a clip of the audio, which can be heard below. In the recording, John can be heard calling the women "two faggots who don't like being called faggots," and demanding the women exit the car.
(WARNING: contains graphic language)
An Uber spokesperson confirmed that John had been fired after news of the story broke in an email to The Huffington Post on Monday, .
“Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and we have been in contact [with] this rider to offer our support," the spokesperson wrote. "As soon as we were made aware of this incident, we removed the driver from the platform.”
Bravo to Uber for making sure that homophobic abuse has no place in its business.
Note: The Huffington Post’s Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington is a member of Uber’s board of directors, and has recused herself from any involvement in the site’s coverage of the company.