MINNEAPOLIS - A spokesperson for SuperAmerica says the company is calling an alleged incident of discrimination at a store location in Minneapolis, near the Bloomington border, a "misunderstanding."
A member of the military is accusing employees at the SA on Post Road of denying her service on Sunday, reportedly because her uniform was offensive to taxi drivers who regularly do business there.
The story blew up on social media Tuesday, with many expressing outrage at the allegations. The incident was first reported Sunday afternoon by Dave Boucha, on his Facebook page. Boucha has since deleted his original post.
KARE 11 reached out to SuperAmerica Tuesday afternoon, and at that time a spokesperson told the station that they will investigate the allegations thoroughly. That spokesperson also said training on discrimination will be mandatory for all employees at that location.
Late Tuesday, SuperAmerica released a statement saying that the investigation and extensive interviews brought those involved to the joint conclusion that service was not denied to the female member of the National Guard, and that the incident was simply a misunderstanding. The reasons why service may have been denied was not clear.
Below is SuperAmerica's statement in its entirety.
"After a thorough investigation and extensive interviews with all those involved, we have come to the joint conclusion that the incident on June 13 at the Bloomington SuperAmerica location was a misunderstanding on both parts. Service was not denied to any military personnel in full uniform. Service was allegedly denied while Caitlin was in her Air National Guard drill attire.
Jack Helmick, president of SuperAmerica stated, "We are deeply sorry if we offended Caitlin in anyway. We are active supporters of our military men and women and would never purposefully offend any of them. We are committed to addressing our customer service procedures at the Post Road store which includes serving all customers including military and women customers.
On Wednesday afternoon, Dave Boucha posted to his Facebook page, "It has been concluded that there was no factual evidence this incident occurred at Post Road SuperAmerica at this time. I took it upon myself to post what I believed happen without letting the correct parties investigate the matter thoroughly. I am responsible for posting what I did. I offer SuperAmerica my deepest apologies. Many people including store employees were affected by my actions. Please accept my apology. I only wanted to bring to light a situation I thought occurred. When speaking to the President of SA I stated to him that I did not want this person I thought did this fired, but to simply instruct them in sensitivity training. That's all I wanted from this whole ordeal. He can verify that. I did not want protests, store closing, threats, or other SA employees or stores affected. I apologies to the community of drivers at this location. I thank SA for a thorough investigation and the military for theirs. My post inflicted harm to SA and a several groups of people. I do apologize in every way an to everyone. I own what I wrote on my wall. There is no changing that. Please share this. I made a grave mistake and am sorry."