*Well, this here is definitely NOT a good look for the Atlanta Hawks.
The NBA team is being sued by Samuel R. Hayes, a former Security Operations Manager, who alleges the organization’s security protocols are based on race.
Fox 5 Atlanta is reporting that Hayes not only claims that the Hawks’ security protocol was enforced differently for black celebrities, but also says he was fired for being black himself.
Hayes’ lawsuit states celebrities like Drake, Future, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Kat Williams, Migos, Tyler Perry and others were denied requests to bypass security, while others such as AC/DC, Amy Schumer, Adele, Bon Jovi and Ariana Grande were allowed to bypass security, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also states:
“Staff members observed that Parker and Security Systems Manager Megan Lodestro (who is white) demanded “extra tight security” at black shows, and denied black entertainers the same security privileges they granted to white entertainers. Staff members complained that these inconsistencies were racially motivated and caused confusion.”
Additionally, Hayes makes claims against Jason Parker, the Vice President of Customer Service and Operations for the Atlanta Hawks, who reportedly told Hayes that the difference in security measures was due to, “hip hop acts draw a different crowd, and the white acts bring in more money.”
Hayes claims Parker’s decision to fire him was based on “race, including racial stereotypes, myths, assumptions, and preconceived notions of black people as “angry” and “aggressive.””
The team is denying the allegations.
Lawsuit: Atlanta Hawks treated black celebrities and certain crowds differentlyhttps://t.co/uS7swXdEAe
— FOX 5 Atlanta (@FOX5Atlanta) July 6, 2017
Further, as far as Hayes’ firing, the Atlanta Hawks and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Nzinga Shaw issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit and allegations:
“Samuel Hayes is a former security manager at Philips Arena. He was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless. We will defend vigorously.”