A former Atlanta Hawks employee, Margo Kline, took to the courts on Friday to sue the organization for discrimination. The suit itself claims that the Hawks and external affairs director David Lee discriminated against white workers, primarily female white workers.
Here’s some information from the Atlanta Journal-Constituion pertaining to the suit. It’s an absolute whopper.
“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,” the report read.
While it’s true that the NBA as a whole has been more inclusive than other major professional sports leagues, this takes everything to an entirely new level. No matter who the alleged offending party is, discrimination in all forms should not stand. That much is known. If this is indeed what happened, it would be the opposite of an inclusive environment.
Even then, the claims in this suit seem to be borderline absurd.
“Kline said the organization ignored her complaints and instead unfairly scrutinized her work and impeded her ability to do her job, often gossiping and ridiculing her. The lawsuit also alleges white coworkers were told not to speak with Kline or they could lose their job.”
If that indeed did happen, Kline surely has a case here. For their part, the Hawks had this to say in response to the suit.
“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,” the organization said.
It’s an interesting dynamic to look at, one that will surely create debate around the basketball world in the coming weeks and months. It will also be interesting to see exactly what comes of this down the road.