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[yahoo] Ex-Rocket accuses restaurant of discrimination

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    [​IMG]

    http://news.yahoo.com/ex-nba-player-accuses-restaurant-discrimination-174337714.html

    Ex-NBA player accuses restaurant of discrimination
    By GREG BLUESTEIN - Associated Press | AP – 7 hrs ago


    ATLANTA (AP) — The retired NBA All-Star and a friend claim they were ousted from the bar of a ritzy Atlanta restaurant because they were black. The restaurant says they weren't the victims of a discriminatory policy, but a long-standing practice rooted in Southern hospitality that allows women a seat at the bar when the place is packed.

    Those arguments were made Monday at the start of the weeklong federal trial of a lawsuit filed by Joe Barry Carroll and attorney Joseph Shaw. The two say they were humiliated when a security guard escorted them from the Tavern at Phipps when they refused to give up their seats to a couple of white women, an action they say was part of a broader pattern of discrimination against blacks.

    "You're probably thinking: Two black gentlemen go to a bar — this is a joke," Jeffrey Bramlett, an attorney for the men, told the jury during opening arguments. "But it's no joke. The evidence will show a serious civil rights violation."

    The restaurant's lawyers said the men were asked to give up their seats as part of a long-standing "good manners" practice that's been in place at the restaurant for 20 years. Attorney David Long-Daniels said thousands of men have complied with those rules, from stars like Michael Jordan to the other men at the bar the night of the incident.

    "Chivalry is not dead," he said. "And it's not a civil rights violation to give up your seat to a woman."

    The standoff over the seats took place on a Friday night in August 2006 when Carroll, who played parts of 10 seasons in the NBA starting in the 1980s, and Shaw sat and the end of a bar and ordered a few beers, a few appetizers and some liquor. As the crowd grew thicker, a bartender offered them complimentary drinks to move, but they declined.

    They were soon asked several more times to give up their seats to women, but each time they refused, according to court testimony. A manager eventually threatened to call security if they didn't relent, and an off-duty Atlanta police officer who works for the restaurant was summoned to the scene.

    "That's the way we do it here," attorneys from both sides said the guard told the men as he ushered them out.

    "They were embarrassed. They were humiliated," said Bramlett. "And part of the reason it was painful is they had an unobstructed view of seats where white patrons were seated."

    The restaurant is attached to an upscale mall in Atlanta's Buckhead district and on weekend nights it's a place to see and be seen, filled with well-dressed, attractive clientele. Bartenders toss and juggle bottles, putting on a show while they mix specialty drinks.

    Bramlett said interviews with current and former employees show that Greg Greenbaum, the restaurant's head, feared that "black thugs" would follow if blacks started flocking to his business. He said the restaurant systematically encouraged managers to avoid hiring too many black staffers and limited black hostesses on peak nights.

    Staffers were also told to "slow serve" black patrons during hectic times, he said. And during the February 2003 NBA All Star game, when young black basketball fans crowded the city, the restaurant hung large "Welcome Rodeo Fans" banners and played country music, according to court records.

    It was all aimed at attracting "white businessmen and well-endowed women" at the expense of black patrons, Bramlett said.

    Patrick Kelly, who was the bartender serving the men, testified that no other men were at the bar when Carroll and Shaw were kicked out. And attorney Long-Daniels said bartenders routinely offered free drinks, free food and new table seating to men sitting at the crowded bar to convince them to give way to women.

    The restaurant's hope, Long-Daniels said, was to become a safe haven for women so they could come for food and fun after a long day of shopping at the adjoining mall.

    "If they feel comfortable, they'll stay. And if they stay, the men will come. It's not about race, it's really about green," he said.

    "Everything in life is not about race and the evidence will show this has nothing to do with race," he said. "The evidence will show it's more to do about personality and ego. And in the end, it's all about good manners."

    ___

    Bluestein can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/bluestein
     
  2. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

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    If he gets FORCED to give up his seat, then that is obviously a civil rights violation. Southern Hospitality? Lol. Did Slaves receive "Southern Hospitality"?
     
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  3. Dei

    Dei Member

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    What are those women doing out of the kitchen? That place is not Southern enough.
     
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  4. xcrunner51

    xcrunner51 Contributing Member

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    I can easily picture the scene being they were asked to give up their seats, were informed of the policy and then made a big enough huff about it that they were escorted out.

    It could also just be racism.
     
  5. SeabrookMiglla

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    the difference between racism in the 50's and now, is that in the 50's it was socially acceptable to be racist. now it is not socially acceptable to be racist, although racism still persists but much more subtly than before.

    its hard to put your finger on these kinds of incidents.

    IMO as a minority born and raised in Houston, i think there have been a few occasions in which i was being discriminated against in a place of public business. to elaborate, they were kind of similar debacles where its one of those moments i had to ask myself> did this bar just deny me because of my skin color?

    maybe joe and i, are just thin skinned and are quick to play the race card...

    but i have an honest intuition, that i trust and there is just something about the moment in which you know your being unequally treated. im sure many have felt it, its one of those "wtf" moments, that you go back and rewind in your head a few times before trying to find an answer.

    its not just white bars that discriminate either, theres black, brown, purple, neon colored bars who want to keep a certain racial demographic or crowd within there bars and they will repel those who they see not to fit in.
     
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  6. Aleron

    Aleron Contributing Member

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    The best way to defend yourself against racism is to admit to sexism...
     
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  7. napalm06

    napalm06 #FireBillObrien
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    One of they keys to handling racist scenarios is to not even go near statements like this. We live in 2011.
     
  8. napalm06

    napalm06 #FireBillObrien
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    If you ask me, a private establishment should generally have a right to choose its clientele.

    I have a personality where I become instantly pissed off when someone makes a racist accusation. Hopefully these guys are right, for their sakes. If they're mad just because the owners asked them to give up seats instead of white people, well that's a cause for concern. What bothers me most is that a situation like this brings racism back to the headlines and into people's minds (never a good thing).
     
  9. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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  10. Victorious

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    That's because situations like this happen all the time. We still live in a very race driven country, especially depending on where you live. I think its a good thing that racism isback to the headlines and are peoples minds so people realize that racism is still a big issue here. At least back in the day, people were open about it and you knew who were racist. Nowadays we have to deal with these sneaky, in the closet racist who try to be slick about their racism. That's too bad because some of us see right through them.
     
  11. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member

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    Joe Barely cared when he played in Houston, we should be suing him !

    DD
     
  12. emcitymisfit

    emcitymisfit Member

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    Well, ya know, maybe if they tipped better...

    Just kidding. Upscales bars/clubs in every metropolitan area are some of the most racist establishments left in America. If they can get former staffers to testify and paint a repeated pattern of behavior, I think the should/will win this case and publicly humiliate the owner.
     
  13. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Given that this is Atlanta (which had singularly struck me for their race relations when I've visited, more than any other city I've seen), and it seems to be a popular bar that is obviously cognizant of their demographics, I wouldn't be at all surprised that they slow-serve blacks and do other things to discourage their patronage. However, I have my doubts that Carroll getting kicked out was part of that pattern. If the testimony was true that there were no other men left at the bar is true, it seems pretty unlikely they were singled out for being black. They were singled out for being men.

    Which makes me scratch my head. Why aren't they suing for sex discrimination instead of racial discrimination when the bar is admitting to the former? They have a policy of sex discrimination, so the 'pattern' is definitely there. It might have been okay if it was just comped drinks, but they had security throw men out. I recall gender being a protected class. So, why play the race card?
     
  14. IBTL

    IBTL Member

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    The sense of entitlement of these black guys is a hilarious joke.

    Was at a bar the other day that has chairs for the happy hour, and once the bar gets busy they take away the chairs, and turn it into a dance floor. guess what there were plenty of white people getting up from their seats and guess what some of the patrons coming in were black. It's called courtesy. umm sorry 'black' guy, but that's how these things work.. it's called the world.

    I could be a race card waving turd, or I could grab my balls, and understand that places can get busy. Also, if you don't have the courtesy to give a seat up for a woman in a busy rush you are a joker anyway.

    It's not about them being black, it's about them not being worthy of any exception on a busy night. Black or white. It's called business,and these black guys need to wake the F up.. I'm sure these big ballers were being real gracious about it all too.

    This over reaching of normal based on race is getting tired. Save it for the real incidences of race ,and just because you got kicked the F out and you can bring a lawsuit, doesn't mean the lawsuit is worthy of anything. What a joke
     
  15. rolyat93

    rolyat93 Contributing Member

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  16. IBTL

    IBTL Member

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    because it's petty and right in line with the blind sense of entitlement.

    'Woman you think Ima gonna sue for some damn woman!'

    This is about a faded no star scrub and attention whoring the saddest card of them all.

    sick
     
  17. SwoLy-D

    SwoLy-D Contributing Member

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    That's a really bad GAME ACTION on the part of JBC, and a bad ROSTER MOVE on the part of the bar. :cool:
    FAIL.

    It's Joe Barry Carroll, sir. :eek:
     
  18. da_juice

    da_juice Member

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    Why is this in the GARM?
     
  19. BowlingBaller

    BowlingBaller Member

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    Just because it's about a black guy, you've gotta go and question if it belongs here... ;)
     
  20. emcitymisfit

    emcitymisfit Member

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    To those that say these guys are entitled, you probably aren't a black man, and probably have no knowledge of the bar industry, where this kind of discrimination is common place.

    If this were a Chili's, it'd be one thing, but this is glamorous night life and this place appears to have a pretty disgusting pattern of behavior. Props to them for taking the owner to task. Now get over to Houston and put some of these douchey racist Washington Ave, Rice Village, and Midtown places out of business.
     
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