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A gay food server at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center is suing the Houston Rockets, claiming that the NBA franchise’s players harassed him with anti-gay slurs when he was in their locker room last year.
Rasean Tate, 28, filed the federal discrimination lawsuit Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court, reports The New York Daily News. He claims that the slurs were yelled at him behind his back. “He’s trying to catch a sneaky peeky!” and “Get this f----t out of here!” are just two of the comments he claims players made with laughter.
The alleged incident took place on Feb. 22, 2013. Tate was working for the Levy Restaurant catering department at the time and he claims a Barclays Center rep saw the incident. He lead Tate out of the locker room and told him he would “take care of it.”
According to The LA Times, Tate alleges that his pay and work hours were cut after he reported the incident and was not allowed to serve in locker rooms or VIP suites. He was suspended in January when he wouldn't give a customer a fork and then fired.
“But for plaintiff’s sexual orientation and his complaints about harassment and discrimination based on his sexual orientation, defendants would not have retaliated against him and would not have treated him differently,” the suit claims.
Marjorie Masidor, Tate’s lawyer, told the Daily News that there is a “bit of irony” that the alleged incident happened where Jason Collins, the first openly gay athlete in a major American sport, now plays.
The Rockets franchise has not commented on the lawsuit. The Barclays Center and Levy Restaurant Holdings also haven’t commented.