The Atlanta Hawks are in hot water.
A former security guard for the franchise is suing the team for firing him based on his race and for treating celebs at the arena differently based on their race. The manager, Samuel Hayes III, says that white performers were allowed to bypass security, while security was enforced for Black artists.
In a lawsuit filed Monday against the Atlanta Hawks LLC, which operates the arena, Hayes said that his firing in April “was based on race, including racial stereotypes, myths, assumptions, and preconceived notions of Blacks as ‘angry’ and ‘aggressive.'”
However the Hawks’ Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Nzinga Shaw, told outlets that Hayes was “terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless.” She added, “We will defend vigorously.”
The filing details that artists like Axl Rose, Bon Jovi, Adele, and Radiohead bypassed metal detectors. He even claimed that Amy Schumer’s entire production team was allowed to walk through arena without being searched.
Quite the opposite happened when Black artists like Drake, Future, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Jeezy, The Dream and Migos. The artists and their crews were forced to go through security.
Hayes also allegedly asked Jason Parker, the Hawks’ Vice President of Customer Service and Operations, why security was so tight for concerts with a ton of Black guests.
Parker’s response: “hip-hop acts draw a different crowd, and the white acts bring in more money.”
CASSIUS reached out to the Atlanta Hawks organization and have yet to receive comment.