A personal trainer says she was kicked out of a London-area coffee shop recently because she was wearing a sports bra.
Davina Ward told ITV News she had stopped in a Costa coffee shop in Sutton after a gym workout and was wearing her sports bra and leggings. After she and a friend bought drinks and sat down, a Costa employee asked her to cover up, she said. Ward claims that because she had nothing else to put on she was asked to leave.
“It wasn't the fact they asked me to leave but the woman that served me was the one that asked me to leave,” Ward told ITV. “If she had a problem she should have only allowed me to takeaway. I was not sweaty as I was only learning technique with my friend when I was training.”
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She said she didn’t see why her outfit was a problem, noting that she had been to a local eatery prior to visiting Costa and that she went to a Starbucks after being asked to leave and “it clearly wasn't an issue for them.”
Staff at the Costa location dispute Ward’s version of events and say she was only asked to cover up and was never told to leave.
But Ward is sticking by her story, and says she doesn’t know what she could have done differently, as working as a personal trainer requires her to wear workout clothes.
“I spend all my life in my gym kit, that's how I get most of my business,” Ward said, according to the Daily Mail. “I feel like I've been thrown out on the basis of being fit and healthy.”
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A Costa representative reportedly contacted Ward and said the company wanted to apologize for “any offense caused” and that the incident was being investigated.
“We’d like to assure customers that our stores are warm and welcoming environments and we will be looking to reassess our training policy with our teams immediately,” the representative said.
Ward was later given points towards Costa purchases worth roughly $12, ITV reports.
“Complained to Costa and they gave me [$12] to spend there,” Ward tweeted later that day. “Humiliation is clearly not worth much.”
The barista involved the incident defended her decision to ask Ward to cover up, saying she "wouldn't allow anyone to sit in without a top."