Sportswear retailer JD Sports has suspended two staff members after gay couple were allegedly called “battymen” and a customer representative no longer works for the retailer after failing to escalate the complaint.

Speaking to THEGAYUK, a spokesman for sports retail giant JD Sports have made it clear that the corporation “deplores discrimination of any kind”. A point they make clear to their 10,000 staff.

Gavin Matthews, 35, and his boyfriend Craig Hards were reportedly called “battymen”, a slur word used against gay men, as they shopped for new trainers at their local store in Eltham in southeast London.

Mr Matthews informed JD Sports of his complaint via the online customer service centre following the incident on Sunday 5 April.

According to JD Sports, a new member of agency staff, who was working on trial period at the time, unfortunately failed to properly escalate the complaint to the senior management team, who became aware of this incident on Friday 17th April.

This individual is no longer working on behalf of JD Sports.

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The spokesman said,

“We deplore discrimination of any kind and take this matter very seriously and took action as soon as this mistake was realised. The two employees from the Eltham store were suspended on Saturday 18 April pending a disciplinary hearing which is scheduled to take place later this week. The head of our customer service team spoke with Mr Matthews yesterday and he is aware of the action we are taking and will be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary process.”