Chris Boardman has become the latest customer to criticise Liverpool business Barber Barber.
The cycling legend claims to have walked out of the shop on Monday morning when his wife was asked to leave. The barber operates a controversial ‘gentlemen-only’ policy, condemned by Boardman as “discrimination”.
The Olympic gold medallist explained: “I go to my local barber in West Kirby normally, but my wife noticed Barber Barber when we were in Liverpool this morning.
“Ironically it was her idea, as she said I should smarten up sometimes.
“Chris Boardman 2010” by david neil smith on Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/98234388@N00/4722293902/.
“But when we went in, they said it was a 15-minute wait and gentlemen-only – even to sit and wait. I think it’s just wrong – I thought, how can you do that in the UK, in this day and age?
“It got me rather annoyed. I could understand if it was male customers only, but not the waiting. I won’t be going back there.”
The shop has faced scrutiny on social media for its complete ban on women, in place since opening in 2014. Owner John Shanahan spoke publicly on the subject last year, claiming “There’s nothing here for ladies […] we offer gentleman’s services.”
Despite Barber Barber’s previous claims that the policy was “a bit of fun”, Boardman remained unconvinced. “I don’t think it’s very funny. You can hide a lot of things behind calling something funny.”
He added: “I can’t believe many people would want to go to a shop because there’s no women in it.
“Whenever possible, I don’t want to see discrimination. I often don’t go to men-only dinners for that reason. I don’t think it’s right.”
Barber Barber has made no direct comment so far on Boardman’s complaint. However, the Barber Barber UK Facebook page has recently been seen advertising their Liverpool shop’s opening hours, along with the bold hashtag #StayTrue.
This latest argument comes less than a fortnight after another controversy, whereby a transgender teenager was allegedly refused a haircut.
A spokesperson for the shop denied the incident happened.