(Chattanooga, Tennessee) - The fraud trial of a former Pilot Flying J executive will include a tape recording of racially-charged comments about the city of Cleveland, and about the Cleveland Browns.
The "Knoxville News Sentinel" reports that U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier will make the tapes public when the trial of Mark Hazelwood resumes in January.
The tape's existence wasn't made public until Thursday, and Judge Collier said it had, "vile, despicable, inflammatory racial epithets" disparaging the people of Cleveland, the people of Oakland, California, and the Browns, the team owned by Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam.
After learning about the tape, Pilot Flying J issued a statement saying, "The tapes described in court today, recorded over five years ago and involving former sales representatives of Pilot Flying J, are saddening and troubling. This kind of behavior is not acceptable, tolerated or reflective of the values of the company. No current team member of Pilot Flying J was present or participated in these conversations.”