Twenty-seven-year-old Matthew Brackley was asked to leave a Tesco Express supermarket in Cambridge. He believes it was because he entered the store shirtless and is carrying some extra weight. The Sun reports that the store has apologized for their actions and “offered him compensation,” but Brackley says it isn’t enough.
Brackley said that on the day of the incident, it was about 33°C (approximately 90° Fahrenheit) outside so he had removed his shirt to try to cool off a bit. He entered the Tesco to purchase some ice cream. He defended his right to walk around shirtless regardless of his weight.
“I’ll admit I’m carrying a few extra pounds but that’s no reason to discriminate against me. I have problems with my body and weight and I overcame my fear [of walking around without a top on]. I should be able to walk with my top off, there’s no law you can’t have your top off. All I wanted to do is get an ice cream on a hot day.”
He added that he was not behaving inappropriately in any way when a security guard approached him and “was very rude to me.” Brackley said that the guard told him repeatedly to “get out the shop.”
He said that since he had not done anything wrong, he was confused about why he was being asked to leave, saying, “It’s not as if I went in and jumped all over the food. I wanted an ice cream and was going right back out.” He also said that he had to act in self-defense and “gently” push the guard because he was standing so close to him that he was spitting on Brackley’s face when he shouted at him. Brackley said that he believes he was asked to leave because of his weight because he saw another male customer in the store who was not wearing a shirt and was not asked to leave. He described that customer as fit and muscular.
Although Tesco has apologized, Brackley wants more. He wants the security to go through some training so he becomes more sensitive to overweight people and another person doesn’t have the same experience. He said, “People shouldn’t be treated differently over their weight.”
Tesco has indicated that is not likely to happen saying, “We have fully investigated this incident with the guard’s employer TSS and have concluded that no further steps need to be taken.”