US: Food server claims he was banned from working in basketball locker rooms for being gay
A lawsuit has been filed in the US by a Brooklyn food server who said he was subjected to homophobic taunts by a professional basketball team.
Rasean Tate, 28, said when his back was turned, members of the Houston Rockets, called him a “faggot”, as he set up a buffet in their locker room.
It also states that he was barred from working in certain areas because he is gay, thus limiting his chances at earning more.
He said he was working in the Barclays Center last year, when the insults took place, which also included “he’s trying to take a sneaky peaky”.
The lawsuit filed on Tuesday said a representative for the Brooklyn Nets witnessed the event in February 2013, and that he told Tate to leave the locker room so he could “take care of it”.
According to the suit, the incident took place as Tate worked for the Levy Restaurant catering department, which provided food for the visiting team (The Rockets), and the Nets’ dancers locker rooms.
The incident was reported to the Levy’s catering manager, a union representative, and Tate received an apology from the VP of HR at the Nets.
Despite this, Tate says he was banned from working in dressing rooms, locker rooms and private VIP areas, which he says were the most lucrative because of overtime opportunities.
He alleges that the ban was based on his sexual orientation – stating in the lawsuit that he is gay.
Tate seeks unspecified damages from the Houston Rockets and Levy Restaurant Holdings. The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center are not named in the lawsuit.
The Brooklyn Nets earlier this year signed Jason Collins, who became the first openly-gay player in the NBA.