The Atlanta Hawks, worth $2 billion, were sued for reportedly discriminating against black celebrities such as Kanye West and Drake.
The Atlanta Hawks haven’t been the golden standards for winning for decades now. The Dominque Wilkins era of the Hawks brought about excitement with ‘The Human Torch’s’ theatrical dunks but deep postseason runs weren’t exactly a part of the norm.
The 2015 Atlanta Hawks featured 4 All-Stars and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals just to get demolished by LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Now, ATL is in a new era that has Trae Young at its helm, the man who took them to another ECF and were two wins away from making an NBA Finals appearance.
Throughout it all, Atlanta has one advantage over other small market teams and that’s the culture. A bevy of successful black rappers and rap groups originate from Atlanta or heavily associate themselves with ATL culture. Keeping the Migos, Drake, Future, and the rest in your good graces would remain to be quite advantageous.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, a lawsuit that surfaced in 2017 alleges that the organization discriminates against many black celebrities.
Atlanta Hawks sued for discrimination.
Samuel Hayes filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Hawks in 2017, claiming he was wrongfully fired from his job. According to Hayes, he was let go because he pointed out the rampant discrimination that the Hawks security ‘indulges’ in when checking performers at the arena.
Hayes’s white superior would reportedly make it difficult for artists like Drake or Future when passing through an extremely rigorous security check. When they were asked by these black artists if they could forgo the checks, they were denied permission to do so.
However, when artists like Ariana Grande or AC/DC showed up and asked to not be checked so rigorously, the security obliged. The lawsuit alleges that when he pointed this out, he was fired. A spokesperson for the NBA franchise said, “He was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless. We will defend vigorously.”