Earlier this year, food server Rasean Tate filed a lawsuit against the Houston Rockets, charging that several of the team's players taunted him with anti-gay slurs before a game in 2013. Tate was setting up catering in the Rockets locker room when he alleges he was harassed with ugly words and phrases such as "get this f—– out of here!" and "He’s trying to catch a sneaky-peeky!" He says he complained to management but instead saw his work hours cut and was then eventually fired from his job.
This week, a Brooklyn judge rejected Tate's claim against the Rockets. The New York Daily News reports:
Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled Monday that since Rasean Tate was not a Rockets’ employee, there is no basis to sue the team for the alleged retaliation that ensued after he complained to his employer, Levy Restaurant Holdings, about the harassment. Tate claims he was barred from working in the locker rooms and his overtime was curtailed.
However, the judge ruled that Tate could pursue a case against the catering company he was employed with at the time of the incident: Levy Restaurant Holdings.
Weinstein said the suit can proceed against Levy. “We respect the judge’s decision but it doesn’t take away the culpability of what Houston Rockets players and staff did in the locker room that day,” said Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Mesidor.
“The comments were discriminatory and they happened.”
Specific players were not named in the original lawsuit.