Gay Man Sues America’s Cup for Wrongful Termination, Says Officials Mocked His Sexuality

Larry Jacobson, a motivational speaker and gay former America's Cup employee, is suing the yacht race for wrongful termination stemming from a few incidents in which he was subjected to harassment because he is gay, according to a report on the suit in the Bay Area Reporter:

JacobsonIn his civil complaint filed March 13 in San Francisco Superior Court, Larry Jacobson, who worked as a VIP spectator boat captain during the races last summer, says one man made a limp wrist gesture at him, while another called him a "poof," a derogatory term for homosexual.

However, a former supervisor told the Bay Area Reporter that Jacobson had "pushed his sexuality very hard" and had been "inappropriate."

Jacobson is claiming sexual orientation discrimination, failure to pay overtime, and failure to pay wages upon discharge, among other complaints. He's seeking unlimited damages exceeding $25,000.

Going into more specifics on the incidents, the article continues:

"Although initially friendly to Mr. Jacobson, Mr. Hindley (chief operating officer for America's Cup Race Management) and Mr. Bennett (America's Cup director of on-water operations) became cold and unfriendly toward him," the complaint says.

Jacobson claims that in August, he approached Hindley to request that he be considered for doing break down work once the regatta was over.

Hindley "made a 'limp wrist' gesture" and said, "People like you, don't want work like that," Jacobson claims, and he didn't get the job.

Then, at a party in September, Bennett told friends, "That's our poof," referring to Jacobson, according to the complaint. Bennett lives primarily in New Zealand, where "poof" is a derogatory term for gay men.

On September 12, the filing says, "without warning, and in blatant breach of his contract," Jacobson "was summarily terminated without legal cause or justification." Bennett and Hindley made the termination decision, Jacobson claims.

More on the lawsuit at BAR