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Lawsuit: Atlanta Hawks treated black celebrities differently

Lawsuit: Atlanta Hawks treated black celebrities differently

A former security operations manager is suing the team and its current vice president of customer service and operations for treating celebrities and security protocols differently based on race, and for his termination, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the northern district of Georgia.

One week later, AC/DC performed and made the same metal detector bypass request - but theirs was granted. He claimed that he observed the pattern of discrimination beginning from the start of his employment at Philips Arena in August of 2016.

Staff members allegedly complained to Hayes about the special treatment, saying it had been going on since before Hayes was working there. For example, the lawsuit describes how on August 26, 2016, black artists Drake and Future asked to bypass the arena's metal detectors and were turned down, but a week later, white performers Axl Rose and Brian Wilson were granted that same request, and also allowed to park their vehicles in the loading dock, which was against the rules. Kanye West wasn't able to bypass the metal detectors ahead of his September 12, 2016, concert.

Atlanta rappers like 2 Chainz, Migos, and Young Jeezy may dominate the charts, but that means nothing to the Atlanta Hawks, and Philips Arena, according to a new discrimination lawsuit.

However, Hayes noticed that during the same period, requests by white celebrities to bypass metal detectors were granted. Meanwhile, the suit says, white acts like Adele and Amy Schumer were granted permission for the same request.

ADP private payrolls rise less than expected
After turning in a lackluster performance in the previous session, stocks have moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. The number of people filing for first-time unemployment benefits last week was 248,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Hayes claims things came to a head in April 2017 when a black security officer told a white member of Radiohead's crew he had to walk through a metal detector - and the crew member responded by dropping his trousers. According to Hayes, a white staffer then told the crew member he could bypass the check.

Hayes says he went to management and was told, "Hip hop acts draw a different crowd and the white acts bring in more money".

In a statement to TheWrap on Thursday, the Hawks' chief diversity and inclusion officer Nzinga Shaw denied the allegations in the lawsuit. He was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless.

A spokesperson reportedly told TMZ that Atlanta Hawks would defend "vigorously" against Hayes' allegation.


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