Lyft removes SLC driver after passengers subjected to anti-Muslim rant, kicked out of car

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Political discussions can certainly get heated, but what happened during a Lyft ride in Salt Lake City Wednesday was over the line, according to one passenger.

Samuel Grenny said his driver, Dave, went on a bigoted rant and even threatened to hurt him.

Grenny and his girlfriend were on their way to a Bernie Sanders event, but they said the driver wanted to talk about Donald Trump.

“I explained where we were going and what it was for, and very quickly he seemed to tense up about it,” Grenny said.

Grenny said the car ride quickly escalated out of control.

“He started to say that Muslims categorically are terrorists,” Grenny said. “And then he proceeded to call Muslims pieces of crap, but a much unkinder word than that. At that point my girlfriend started videotaping, she was very shaken.”

Portions of the exchange were captured on camera. See the embedded player above for that video, which has been edited for profanity.

Grenny: “You told me, in a cab that I’m paying for, that Muslims are pieces of [expletive].”
Driver: “Muslims are pieces of [expletive].”
Grenny: “Oh good, please tell me some more about how you feel man.”

Grenny said the encounter made him nervous things might get physical.

“I felt prepared for the possibility of a physical confrontation,” he said.

The exchange continued:

Driver: “Why don’t you pull your head out of your [expletive] [expletive]?"
Grenny: “Why don’t you pick up a freaking book, man. You are literally what is wrong with this country, and you’re trying to blame minorities.”
Driver: “No you are the one that’s wrong with this [expletive] country.”

The passengers were kicked out well before their final destination.

Driver: “Get the [expletive] out you piece of [expletive]."
Grenny: “Good luck buddy.”
Driver: “[Expletive] get out of my car.”

Grenny alerted Lyft about the driver, and he said within 24 hours they sent him an apology and a refund. Lyft released this statement to FOX 13 News.

“Lyft is committed to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming environment, and discrimination and racism are not tolerated. This driver’s access to Lyft has been permanently removed.”

Grenny said he’s proud of Lyft’s response.

“If he goes and picks up a Muslim who is in full garb, does he not pick them up, is he rude and horrible to them? I don’t think there is a place for someone in the service industry who can’t treat all humans fairly,” Grenny said.


    • Larry

      These riders contradict your statement. These Sander supporters forced a man out of his job because the disagreed with them, and then celebrated on social media about it. It makes them just a despicable

    • Steven

      Love the generalization. Kind of like saying all you Bernie supporters are criminals. Take for instance your buddy sammy here, he got busted for multiple drug and distribution charges back in 2010. He’s a huge asset to society. Feeling the bern!
      And for those who need sources cited, Google his name and read the heraldextra.Com article from Nov. 23 2010.

      • Kat

        How much free time do you have to defend a racist that you’d go to the trouble of digging up someone’s past? Because he doesn’t have a perfect personal history he deserves to be on the receiving end of this garbage? He paid someone for a ride, he didn’t pay to hear his rancid racism. Lyft has clear policies and this guy broke them.

    • Spencer Reid

      So you would be okay with getting Verbally harassed by someone you were paying to take you somewhere? I think not.

      • rich

        I’m sure there is more to the conversation than they are tell. Like the ones that walk into the Trump rallies and antagonize to get someone to react. these two are not the “oh whoa I’m being picked on” that they seem… just saying.

  • Larry

    So, here are Sanders Supporters, who are advocating for Free College and $15 an hour minimum wage, so that everyone can have a job and support themselves, worked with Lyft so this guy can lose his Job? They complained and of course they only started the video later in the ride so no one knows what was said before that point…. These people are scum for forcing someone to lose their job over political differences.

    • Melle

      I agree. It was a dirtbag move to egg him on like that, then report him. Yes, the driver’s comments were out of line, but it was still a dirtbag move on the passengers’ parts.

      • Larry

        That’s the biggest issue here. How would this guy like it if i showed up to his work, Even Stevens (A place committed to charity and feeding the homeless, I guess his charity doesn’t extend to those who disagree with him politically) and started riling him up and started recording halfway through the conversation to make him look bad? Maybe we all should show up and get him going, it’ll only be a matter of time before he says something dumb and we can cleverly edit it and force him out of work. Because I’m sure there was more video, they just edited out the parts that made them look bad.

    • Melle

      Aren’t you glad that you don’t have to live with getting someone fired? (I’m assuming you have a conscience.) :) He did come across as a bigot, but, man, we all get pissed off and say things.

  • Laura

    How can any of you be defending the driver? He works with the public he needs to keep his mouth shut. Anyone would get fired for doing what he did no matter how provoked in a service job. There is no excuse for saying Muslim people are POS. He didn’t get fired for having a different opinion he got fired because what he said was prejudice and wrong!

    • Larry

      I’m sure you have never said anything to anyone at work that was considered “objectionable”. I guess everyone should be fired for speaking out of turn. We all need to be PC all the time around everyone and shut up our opinions at all times.

      • Laura

        “Objectionable” sure I’ve probably said something “objectionable” at work but I’ve never called an a entire group of people “pieces of sh*t”. Yes we do need to be PC all the time if the alternative is being more than just rude but being a hateful prejudice jerk! What so many of you can’t seem to grasp is that this guy didn’t just have a difference of opinion or speak out of turn what he said is a big deal. This is the kind of hateful prejudice crap that gets people killed!

      • agirlfromcarolina

        If you work a customer service position and you can’t keep your rancid opinions under control, you shouldn’t be working in customer service. If someone says something you disagree with, you say “that’s nice” and change the subject or turn on some music. A Lyft ride is 5-20 minutes, generally. This guy can’t hold his tongue, or talk about sports, his pets, the traffic, or any non-offensive topic for that short a time? Someone that socially inept should be in another line of work.

        This guy is really too immature to drive, period. You can have a difference of opinion without resorting to being belligerent, and you can have a reasonable discussion with someone you disagree with. It’s called being an adult.

        You’re on this guy’s side because he’s on your “team,” and you strongly adhere to a belief in party before country. Imagine politics wasn’t part of the equation, and someone who was supposed to be offering you a service went off on an expletive-laden rant about something that was important to you. Would you just let it go? Or would you think “wow, that’s incredibly unprofessional and offensive,” and notify their superiors?

        Furthermore, Lyft is a company that has certain guidelines it expects its drivers to follow. It has training videos that suggest political discussions are something that should be avoided. Drivers are rated on their service, and if their ratings are too low, won’t be allowed to drive for Lyft anymore. The company doesn’t want to have people representing them who are hateful, rude, and unable to control their emotions. I don’t see why that should bother anyone.

        Anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about this guy’s financial future. I’m sure the Trump campaign has already contacted him and Fox News will interview him about the persecution he faced. He’ll have a book deal and a starring role in Sarah Palin’s next reality show before the week is over. ;)

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