A white DMX fan is suing Verizon after allegedly being fired for using the n-word while discussing the late rapper.
According to documents obtained by AllHipHop on Thursday (December 29), Peter Kelly is claiming wrongful termination after being let go from the company he’d worked at for 21 years.
Kelly claims he was let go in May 2021 after he was heard saying “n-gga” while discussing DMX on a company phone. As a union member, he said the termination was “in violation of the National Labor Relations Act” and he wants to be compensated for damages.
“This action also arises out of the breach by Plaintiff’s union, Defendant Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO (the ‘Union’), of the duty to provide fair representation, and of the breach by Plaintiff’s employer, Defendant Verizon New York Inc. (“Verizon”), of the collective bargaining agreement,” the document reads.
The docs go on to explain that the incident took place in April 2021 – when Kelly took a personal call on his work phone during his lunch break.
“In discussing DMX’s music Plaintiff used the word ‘n####,’ which is a word commonly used by the artist himself in his lyrics,” the docs continue. “Unbeknownst to Plaintiff, he had inadvertently answered a call on his company cellular phone, and a Verizon employee who listened to his private call for approximately forty-five seconds overheard him say the word ‘n-gga.’”
After an investigation, Kelly was fired less than a month later for “violating Verizon’s discrimination and harassment policy.”
Kelly and his attorney feel that the word flies all the time at work and he’s unfairly being singled out.
“Despite this alleged zero-tolerance policy, certain employees routinely use words like ‘b####,’ ‘c###,’ ‘n-gger,’ ‘n-gga’ and ‘s###’ in the workplace,” the docs state. “Such language is used in the presence of management-level employees, yet when it is used by a female employee, an African American employee, and/or a Hispanic employee, none is reprimanded or disciplined in any way.”
This isn’t the first time a white fan has found themselves in hot water for using the n-word in relation to their favorite rapper.
Back in August, a Wu-Tang Clan fan in the UK was fined £500 for using the n-word while rapping the lyrics to the group’s debut single “Protect Ya Neck.”
25-year-old Kyle Siegel was recording himself rapping the 1993 song for TikTok while standing in a women’s bathroom stall – unknowingly with a mixed-race woman in the cubicle next to him who was left “severely shocked” by the incident.
While the defense said there were a few issues surrounding “artistic freedom,” he noted Siegel was not a “person of color.” He added that Siegel accepted “he crossed the line” but didn’t intend to harm anyone with his actions.