Sports

Former Employee Sues Atlanta Hawks For Discrimination

Mike Brest Reporter

A former employee of the Atlanta Hawks is suing the team for discriminating against white people and for terminating her after she formally made that complaint.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Margo Kline filed the lawsuit last Friday. She stated that the Hawks external affairs director David Lee, a black man, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, mainly though against white women.

Kline, a white woman, worked in the NBA team’s corporate social responsibility department as a community development coordinator for five years before being fired last March.

She claims that Lee was dismissive and exclusionary towards women and white people. Lee supposedly made jokes about “white culture” and promoted less qualified minority candidates over white applicants.

The Hawks, according to the lawsuit, ignored her complaints and often ridiculed her. She then was ostracized and her colleagues impeded her ability to do her job.

Kline has asked for a trial jury and is seeking punitive damages for the case. She filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission months ago.

When asked about the allegations, the Hawks told the AJC, “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.”
Back in 2014, then Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry stepped down after a recording of him talking about a player using a racial slur was released. The investigation into Ferry uncovered a racist email sent by minority owner Bruce Levinson who ended up selling his share of the team.