ATLANTA (CN) – Former NBA player Joe Barry Carroll has sued the Tavern at Phipps and its owners for racial discrimination after Carroll and a friend were asked to give up their seats at the bar.
According to the federal complaint, Carroll and his friend, attorney Joseph Shaw, who are both black, were approached by a bartender and asked to relinquish their seats to two white women. When Carroll and Shaw, the only black people at the bar, politely refused the bartender’s request, they were told it was customary at this bar to give up their seats for women. None of the white males at the bar, however, were asked to sacrifice their seats.
Defendant Heather Dennis, an operating partner of the tavern, along with the restaurant manager, asked Carroll and Shaw to leave. Dennis told the men she would take care of their bill, but they still refused to leave. The spectacle finally ended when a police officer, presumably called by Dennis, escorted the men out of the restaurant.
Carroll and Shaw later filed a complaint with the city Human Relations Commission, which found that the defendants’ treatment of the plaintiff and Shaw violated a city ordinance and their rights and that “race was a factor in the escalation of the situation.” The commission entered the order on Oct. 10, 2007.
Carroll is represented by Gerald Weber and Hollie Manheimer of Stuckey & Manheimer.