Fired security manager says Phillips Arena discriminated against

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 8, 2017

An explosive claim has been made by a former security manager for the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena.

The suit lists other examples of what Hayes said was a discriminatory practice of subjecting black entertainers to more thorough security measure than white entertainers. Parker told Hayes that the employees should talk to him if they have an issue, and said that Hayes had been doing a great job.

"Samuel Hayes is a former security manager at Philips Arena". Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Tyler Perry, Migos, Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, and more were denied bypass requests, but stars like Adele, Amy Schumer, Bon Jovi, Ariana Grande, the WWE Live Tour, and the Ringling Brothers were granted requests to skip metal detectors. "We will defend vigorously", the team's spokesperson told TMZ Sports. Hayes was afraid of retaliation if he did that, the lawsuit says.

Hayes says he reported the discrimination to his managers after an incident in which a member of Radiohead's crew pulled down his trousers when he was told he had to walk through the metal detector and a fellow Hawks employee allowed him to pass.

Samuel Hayes, whom the Hawks say was sacked for poor performance, was named the plaintiff in the lawsuit that claims his former boss Jason Parker and the Hawks created different security measures depending on who the artist was.

In addition, Hayes makes claims against Jason Parker, the Vice President of Customer Service and Operations for the Atlanta Hawks.

The suit also says that Hayes was warned that people perceive him as "aggressive" because he is "a large black man with an intimidating voice and commanding presence", and was advised to "watch [his] tone" when talking to others. In a statement to TMZ, a Hawks spokesperson added that Hayes was sacked due to "poor performance" and vowed to vigorously defend against his claims. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who is black, attended the concert but was denied his request to be dropped off at the media entrance, which white entertainers were previously allowed to do.

Hayes claims that these security decisions were not based on safety, but on race.

The lawsuit also recounts an awkward confrontation at a Radiohead concert in April when a black Atlanta Hawks security officer complained that one of the band's crew members "became belligerent and dropped his pants" after being told he had to pass through metal detectors.

At the end of April, Parker fired Hayes. His higher-ups, however, are claiming the complete opposite, saying they fired Hayes because of the way he treated lower-level staff without speaking to Human Resources first.

Hayes alleges his firing was retaliatory and based on race.

Hayes is demanding unspecified damages.

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