Greene King pubs has issued an apology and paid out thousands of pounds in damages to a group of Irish travellers who were banned from watching a Tyson Fury fight in one of their Essex pubs. The pub chain apologised for racially discriminating against the group.
The group of 12 Irish Travellers were hoping to watch the WBC heavyweight title fight between Dillian Whyte and the “Gypsy King” at the Woodford Greene King pub in Essex on April 23. But before they could sit down, they were asked to leave by a Greene King manager and told that they had to exit because of Greene King’s policy to not serve Irish Travellers.
When the group challenged the decision to refuse service, the manager of the pub told the group “that’s what the company says, ‘no Travellers’”. He also confirmed that the reason for the ejection was race, and accepted that the policy was discriminatory.
Yesterday (November 15), Greene King pubs issued an apology, paid the group substantial damages, as well as issuing a charitable donation at the group’s request. The amount that the group were paid has not been disclosed but it is thought to be thousands of pounds.
Greene King posted a public apology on its website and their social media channels.
“Greene King sincerely apologises to the 12 individuals who were discriminated against by a member of our team and asked to leave or not attend our Rose and Crown pub in Woodford Green on April 23 2022.
“This behaviour is contrary to all that we at Greene King believe in. We have a commitment to ‘Calling Time on Racism’ and we are working hard across our business to make sure that we all consistently live up to these commitments and values. Since this incident, we have ensured that the team in the Rose and Crown has had full training in this area, in addition to our company-wide efforts to promote inclusion and diversity and eliminate racism in our company.
“We have apologised unreservedly to the 12 individuals involved in this incident, paid them compensation as well as their legal costs and have made a charitable donation at their request.”
Martin Howe, of Howe&Co law firm, represented the group of travellers said:
“I am pleased that Greene King agreed to settle yet another shocking example of race discrimination against Irish Travellers.
“Greene King has, rightly, paid substantial damages and costs, and has made an unreserved sincere apology for the hurt and distress caused to our clients by their pub staff.
“Discrimination against Irish Travellers remains only too prevalent and is regarded by some as the last bastion of acceptable racism. Until these ugly unacceptable instances of blatant racism against Travellers are stopped, significant settlements like this will continue to shame companies who engage in racist conduct.”
Yvonne MacNamara, CEO of the Traveller Movement commented:
“The Traveller Movement are pleased that Greene King has settled this cut-and-dried instance of discrimination, and apologised to the affected individuals. We hope that they now have the closure they deserve.
“We welcome Greene King’s commitment to ‘Calling Time on Racism’ and will continue to act as a critical friend to the company to ensure they uphold both their legal obligations, as well as the organisational principles they have set for themselves.
“It is important to note this case is not an outlier; racism against Irish Travellers is rife in our society. We hope and expect that this outcome will serve as a warning to other companies, and that Greene King’s future conduct will serve as an example of inclusivity and progress.”