The Houston Rockets have been accused of hurling homophobic slurs at a gay food server while he was setting up the buffet in their locker room at the Barclays Center last year. Rasean Tate, 28, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the team earlier this week.
According to the NY Daily News, the lawsuit alleges that several Rockets players taunted Tate while he had his back turned.
“Get this f—-t out of here!” an unnamed player allegedly said. “He’s trying to catch a sneaky peeky!”
Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Masador claimed the insults were “loud and gregarious” and that several players harassed him with their voices overlapping. A Brooklyn Nets representative claims to have witnessed the taunting, at which point he told Tate to leave the locker room so he could finish setting up the buffet.
“I think there’s a bit of irony that this occurred in the same place where a person’s (Jason Collins) sexual identity is accepted and welcomed with openness, while in the same place a visiting team chose to degrade Rasean and set us back,” Masador said.
I don’t really think the Nets signing Collins has any relevance to the lawsuit, but it certainly doesn’t sound good for the Rockets. The team has not commented on the alleged incident, while the Nets reportedly apologized to the catering manager from Tate’s company and had their players attend a class on “tolerance and sensitivity training.” Neither the Nets nor the Barclays center are being sued.
Tate also said he was suspended without pay in January for failing to follow instructions, but he believes the suspension was a result of his sexual harassment suit. Unless there is a lot more to the story than what we have heard, this has settlement written all over it for the Rockets.