A Subway manager in Birmingham, Alabama, was fired Thursday after she got into a quarrel with a customer and used the N-word.
Antuan Clark went to the sandwich shop to visit his sister on her first day of work when he got into the altercation with the manager, April Epperson, WBRC 6 reports.
Epperson said she told Clark that he needs to leave the property while his sister is working, according to WBRC.
“She’s in training, and while she’s here she doesn’t need a distraction,” she told the station. “I’m going to need them to get away from the property or step off the property while she’s at work.”
Clark claims that Epperson fired his sister after he refused to leave, something that Epperson says did not happen.
In the video, the two can be seen arguing and while Epperson is on the phone, with who she says was the police. At one point, she seemingly attempts to grab the phone from Clark when she yells at him to “get out of my store!”
Once Clark leaves the store, Epperson can be heard calling him a “f***ing n**ger,” something she now regrets saying.
“He punched me in my face. I pushed him out the door because that was the only thing I knew to do. I felt like I was in danger. I pushed him out the door. He punches me in my face and as soon as I shut the door, the only thing that came out of my mouth was ‘n**ger,’ and I’m sorry,” she told WBRC. “It could have been a Mexican standing there. It popped out of my mouth, that’s what that Mexican would have got called. That White person would have got called that, too,” Epperson said.
A representative for Subway tells ABC’s WJLA that the store has been temporarily closed and confirmed that the manager has been fired.
“We are very upset that this happened and it does not reflect our core value to respect every individual. We welcome all guests to our restaurant, and given the unacceptable behavior of the manager, she no longer works for us, Subway franchisees Trent Evans and Matt Star said in the statement. “We take this very seriously and have suspended operations until the staff has completed retraining in proper guest interaction.”
Epperson said she accepts her punishment, but can’t deal with being called a racist on television.
“I said the wrong word. I’m sorry for it. I am taking my punishment and I’m walking away from it. I get that I screwed up. I’m a big girl. I can handle it. But I can’t handle being called racist on national television over a slipup,” she said.
Check out the video of Clark and Epperson’s exchange below.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.