Yesterday, five Barclays Center employees filed a $5 million lawsuit against the massive arena for discrimination based upon race and disability. And it’s not the first time Barclays Center managers have been accused of racism.
According to the Daily News, one employee, Anthony Peterkin says he was ridiculed for being blind in one eye by his managers,who called him “Cyclops” and the “one-eyed guy.” Another, Erick Silverman, who has cerebral palsy and rhinophyma, which results in an enlarged nose, says his manager placed a piece of bread on his nose and mocked Silverman’s voice, while also making fun of his shaking hands.
Both Peterkin and Silverman were the victims of one Barclays Center consultant’s alleged plan to move disabled employees “out of the sight of customers,” according to the suit. The men had worked in the luxurious Calvin Klein Courtside Club until Peterkin was reassigned to the “less prestigious” media and family section in January, which he claims was overheated and lacked ventilation. Additional complaints in the suit reveal that managers, who were employed by Levy Restaurants, frequently used racial slurs towards black employees.
Even those who complained about the horrible treatment were ignored—Calvin Klein Courtside Club kitchen supervisor Barnett Valerie was merely transferred to the 40/40 Club section of Barclays when he brought up the discrimination and name-calling.
This isn’t the first race-related scandal in the Barclays Center’s short history. Last October, three black luxury box holders filed a $4 million lawsuit against Barclays Center employees for ignoring their food and drink orders, getting security guards to investigate their boxes, and having been wrongfully accused of not paying their bills, while white box holders were “treated like royalty,” according to the Post.
In other news, it hasn’t been a very good week for Jay-Z.
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa.