ATL Hawks Sued for Allegedly Treating Black Stars Like Criminals

ATL Hawks Sued for Allegedly Treating Black Stars Like Criminals

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Looks like Philips Area and the Atlanta Hawks are catching some heat for their treatment to certain celebrities.

The celebrities centered around the controversy is Drake, Kanye West, Migos and Tyler Perry.

A former Atlanta Hawks security manager — who also ran event security at Philips Arena — is suing the team claiming he was wrongly fired after pointing out a system of discrimination against black celebs at the arena, which is operated and staffed by the Hawks.

Sam Hayes says from the start of his employment in August 2016 that his white boss was going out of his way to make black stars go through more rigorous security checks than white stars.

On August 26, Drake and Future performed at Philips Arena and had asked to bypass metal detectors on their way inside but their requests were denied.

One week later, AC/DC performed and made the same metal detector bypass request — but theirs was granted. The same treatment followed for the different celebrities:

Kanye West — DENIED

The Comedy Get Down World Tour (Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley) — DENIED

2 Chainz, Jeezy, The Dream — DENIED

Old School Hip Hop Fest — DENIED

Migos — DENIED

Tyler Perry — DENIED

Katt Williams — DENIED (for good reason)

Amy Schumer — GRANTED


Ariana Grande — GRANTED (Hayes says she “doesn’t like people looking at her”).


Bon Jovi — GRANTED

Ringling Brothers — GRANTED

Hayes states that things hit the fan 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 pants. Hayes says a white staffer intervened and allowed the crew member to bypass.

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

Hayes says he was ultimately fired for speaking on the issues but was given the impression of being fired due to reprimanding lower level staffers without first consulting Human Resources.

He’s demanding unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for the team states to TMZ that “[Samuel Hayes] was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless. We will defend vigorously.”

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