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Brooklyn Server Sues Houston Rockets for Using Anti-Gay Slurs

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Apr 1, 2014
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Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard (12) pushes against Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez in 2013.
Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard (12) pushes against Brooklyn Nets’ Brook Lopez in 2013.  (Source:AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

A food server from Brooklyn has filed a lawsuit against the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, alleging some members from the team used anti-gay slurs towards him while he helped set up a buffet in the athletes’ locker room last year, the New York Daily News reports.

According to the suit, which was filed Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court, Rasean Tate, 28, says that the slurs came when he had his back turned toward the team. He claims the players allegedly said, "Get this faggot out of here!" and "He’s trying to catch a sneaky peaky!" while laughing.

The suit goes on to say a Brooklyn Nets representative allegedly witnessed the incident, which occurred on Feb. 22, 2013, and told Tate to leave the locker room and he "would take care of it." It should be noted the Nets is home of Jason Collins, who is the first openly gay pro-athlete to play a major sport in North America.

Tate was working for the Levy Restaurant catering department, the New York Daily News notes, and was catering food for the Rockets, who were visiting New York City, referees and the Nets’ dancers’ locker rooms.

Although he got an apology from the Nets’ vice president of human resources, Tate was banned from working in dressing rooms, locker rooms and private VIP areas, where he’d have an opportunity to earn more money because of overtime pay. Tate says he was prohibited from going to those areas because he is gay, the suit says.

According to the suit, Tate is seeking unspecified monetary damages from the Houston Rockets and Levy Restaurant Holdings. Officials from the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center, where the incident took place, are not being sued.

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