A video of a female customer at a Sprint store in Virginia hurling racially charged insults at a male customer has drawn the ire of Sprint Marcelo Claure.
The video, posted to Twitter on Monday by civil rights activist Shaun King, senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, has been retweeted more than 45,000 times.
“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.”
In the video an unidentified white woman is standing inside a Sprint store in Manassas, Va., talking on her cell phone trying to find another store after visiting two.
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A fellow customer, who identified himself as “Juan,” interjects and tells her of another location in Fairfax.
She snaps at him. “I wasn’t talking to you, and don’t listen to my conversation,” she tells him. “Well you better watch who the f**k you’re talking to.”
She chews on her nails and says, “And I ain’t got no nails on. I’ll f**kin’ fight today, cause I ain’t got s**t to break ... I ain’t scared of no f**kin’ spic. This is my f**king country.”
Juan eventually walks out of the store and says, “Take it easy.”
After he leaves the woman says, “They need to take his f**king a** back to Mexico.”
The entire time she’s standing in front of a Sprint sign written in Spanish.
On Monday, Claure, the Bolivian-born CEO of Sprint, retweeted King and the video, writing: “This is totally unacceptable. There is no room for this kind of behavior. As a country we must do better.”
On Tuesday Claure followed up with a longer and passionate statement, titled “Racism Has No Place at Sprint,” that strongly condemned the woman’s actions.
He also shared his response on Twitter in a series of five tweets.
“This weekend a customer at a dealer store in Manassas, Virginia, insulted another customer by using profane, threatening and ugly language,” he wrote in his statement.
“A video of the exchange was posted to Twitter and has been viewed by millions. I and thousands of my Sprint colleagues were disgusted by what we saw. This behavior violates a fundamental Sprint value of treating everyone with respect.
“Unfortunately, we’re seeing an increase in hate speech like this across the country. No one deserves to hear this kind of language.
“This has got to stop. It’s time to talk. It’s time to learn. It’s time to heal.”
In an email, Sprint spokeswoman Lisa Belot said employees in the store were busy with other customers and didn’t know the incident had happened. Neither party involved, nor other customers who might have witnessed it, reported it to employees, she said.
Claure wrote in his statement that he is inviting the woman and her husband “to meet privately with me so I can better understand what drives comments and behavior like this. I’d like to share my views with her as well.
“I also invite the customer she attacked, Juan, to meet with me.”
He said the type of behavior the woman engaged in “is not tolerated in any Sprint workplace,” where the company has “worked hard at Sprint to create and maintain a welcoming, respectful and diverse culture.
“My 30,000 employees join me in standing up for our core values and not tolerating such inappropriate behavior. We will not compromise our principles by allowing divisive or hateful language to go unchecked in our stores or offices.”