A former Atlanta Hawks employee is suing the team for allegedly discriminating against white people. Margo Kline, who worked for the team for five years, filed a suit on Friday alleging that the Hawks mistreated white employees, and claims she was fired for voicing her complaints of discrimination. Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A fired Atlanta Hawks employee is suing the organization, alleging it discriminated against white employees and terminated her when she complained.
In a lawsuit filed Friday, Margo Kline says Hawks external affairs director David Lee, who is black, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, especially white women. Kline, who is white, worked in the NBA team's corporate social responsibility department as a community development coordinator for five years.
Kline's suit complains of various slights toward her and other white employees, and claims that co-workers were told not to talk to her or they might lose their job.
Kline alleges that Lee was dismissive and exclusionary toward white employees and would often make jokes about "white culture," hiring and promoting black employees — who Kline said were less qualified — over white people, according to the lawsuit.
Kline said the organization ignored her complaints and instead unfairly scrutinized her work and impeded her ability to do her job, often gossiping and ridiculing her. The lawsuit also alleges white coworkers were told not to speak with Kline or they could lose their job.
The Hawks made a statement of their own to the AJC following the suit, saying, "we deny these claims and will vigorously defend against them.
In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks said: "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."
Kline is asking for punitive damages in the case.