Bowlplex accused of racial discrimination26th February 2015
An Oxford bowling alley has come under fire after a video showing staff members being discriminatory against travellers was shared online.
The video, recorded by one of the women involved, shows a staff member telling visitors that “we’ve had problems with travellers… Bowlplex, not me, Bowlplex, have banned all travellers from being in here”.
The staff member continued: “We’re just doing what the manager has asked us to do”.
After being originally shared on Facebook by Roseanne Gallagher on 21st February, copies of the video have since been posted on YouTube.
In a comment to The Oxford Mail, Ms. Gallagher said: “we want to take them to court. The security guard was doing his job, but we also think the manegement are to blame”.
In an official statement, Bowplex commented: ““The safety and well being of our customers is our number one priority…
“The security staff at the Oxford bowl identified some individuals that were connected to a previous incident on the premises, and to ensure the safety of other customers they were asked to leave.
“During that process one of the security staff involved made claims regarding Bowlplex company policy – these were completely incorrect and are now the subject of a full investigation by the third party company that are contracted to provide these team members.
“Bowlplex would like to apologise unreservedly to anyone that has been caused offence by these comments and re-iterate that no such policy exists”.
A copy of the video was also shared to Oxford-based Facebook group The Class Room. OUSU Black and Minority Ethnic Students’ and Anti-Racism officer Nikhil Venkatesh commented: “This is disgusting”.
Bowlplex commercial director Ian Bennett told The Oxford Mail that this went “totally against” the firm’s policies.
He said: “I have seen this clip and the first thing to say is that it is factually incorrect to say [banning travellers] is a Bowlplex policy”.
“As I speak, there is now an investigation going on to understand how that has come about. We welcome everyone into our premises.”