If true, the Rockets players and organization are going to fork over some cash for this — and they should.
A gay food server who formerly worked in the Barclays Center has sued the Houston Rockets claiming late last season players chased him out of the locker room where he was setting up the pre-game buffet by using gay slurs, then he said he was demoted Levy Restaurants (the company that handles catering at Barclay’s) when he complained of the abuse.
The New York Post spoke to the attorney of the plaintiff, who named the Rockets and Levy in the suit (not the Barclays Center itself nor the Nets).
(The server, Rasean Tate) claims that he was setting up a buffet in the visiting Rockets locker room before a game on Feb. 22, 2013, when he was all but chased from the area because he was gay.
“When the plaintiff’s back was turned to defendant Rockets players, he began to hear laughter and taunting voices saying ‘get this f—– out of here!’ ” according to the suit, and ” ‘He’s trying to catch a sneaky-peeky!’…
“These series of comments were repeated a number of times by defendant Rockets players and staff,” according to the suit. “Plaintiff could hear defendant Rockets players overlapping voices and laughter.”
No Rockets’ players were named in the suit.
The lawsuit claims Tate was phased out of locker room duty after he complained and he was given fewer hours to work because of it.
The Rockets and Levy Restaurants have yet to address the lawsuit. We have yet to hear another side of the story, to have any details fleshed out. With lawsuits that could be embarrassing for the defendants such as this the plaintiff’s attorney often will go public trying to put pressure on the defendants to make the problem go away (with a large settlement).
If the incident occurred as Tate described it the team and the players involved should see punishment. But the legal process is a long and winding one so we will see where this leads.