Chargers player says being black made it hard to find a place to live in Los Angeles
Brandon Mebane says several African-American players have had trouble finding a landlord who will rent to them
After spending the past two months doing their offseason workouts in San Diego, the Chargers are finally headed for Los Angeles. For the team, it means they'll finally be making the move to their new practice facility in Costa Mesa, California. For most of the players, it means packing up their house and making the 120-mile move from San Diego to the L.A. area.
Although a 120-mile move might not sound that difficult, apparently, the process of finding a new place to live hasn't been very easy for a few players on the team. According to Chargers defensive lineman Brandon Mebane, several African-American players have had trouble finding a landlord who will rent to them, and Mebane insinuates that it's due to the color of their skin.
In a recent post on his personal website, Mebane wrote that finding a place to live became nearly impossible "once we actually started putting in our rental applications."
"Some owners in the suburbs we were visiting did not want us living in their house," Mebane wrote. "Though we exceeded the standard tenant requirements, put together a competitive application with a Tier 1 credit score, references, a cover letter, and advanced payment, we were denied."
Mebane says this was definitely race-related.
"Some other black teammates were having trouble getting owners to rent to them too," Mebane wrote.
According to Mebane, the situation was so dire that one teammate got shot down on his rental application even though he offered to pay 12 months of rent in advance.
"A teammate in the same situation offered to pay A YEAR upfront and was denied," Mebane wrote. "One landlord even changed the requirements on another teammate after his family submitted their application so that they would no longer be eligible. It's disheartening to have to go through this in 2017."
This isn't just a Los Angeles thing, either. Mebane added that the same thing happened when he moved to San Diego after signing with the Chargers prior to the 2016 season.
"This was not the first time we experienced this," Mebane wrote. "We were also met with the same unwelcoming response trying to find a home in the suburbs of San Diego."
The good news for Mebane and his family is that they eventually did sign a lease for a spot in the L.A. area.
"Thankfully, we found a place! And I even got a little extra space for a 'man corner,' the defensive lineman wrote.
The bad news for everyone else is that plenty of people still have to deal with this type of discrimination when they're looking for a place to live. Under the fair housing act, discriminating against a potential renter based on their race, color, religion, sex or national origin is illegal.
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