Fired Atlanta Hawks Employee Sues, Claims Racial Discrimination Against Whites

GTY Scott Cunningham
Getty Images/Scott Cunningham

A recently fired Atlanta Hawks employee is suing the organization, claiming they discriminate against white employees.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Margo Kline says Hawks external affairs director David Lee, who is black, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, especially white women. Kline, who is white, worked in the NBA team’s corporate social responsibility department as a community development coordinator for five years.

Kline alleges that Lee was dismissive and exclusionary toward white employees and would often make jokes about “white culture,” hiring and promoting black employees — who Kline said were less qualified — over white people, according to the lawsuit.

Kline alleges that the organization disregarded her complaints, gave her work undue scrutiny, and generally impeded her ability to do her job. In addition, Kline says that she suffered ridicule and other white coworkers were told that if they spoke with her, they would lose their jobs, the AJC reports.

The Hawks fired Kline in March of 2017, shortly after she received a warning about her job performance.

Kline responded by filing an employment discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She is seeking punitive damages and trial by jury.

The Hawks released a statement to the AJC, which read:

“We take all claims of discrimination seriously and have performed a thorough review of these baseless claims. The case was quickly dismissed at the EEOC level. We deny these claims and will vigorously defend against them.”

Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn

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