As far as we can tell, one Seattle-area chain outlet has decided to deny service to anyone wearing Seattle SuperSonics memorabilia.
Confused as we are? Watch this clip.
This needs a little background, and something to consider the next time you breeze into a coffee chain that, at least on an urban level, has become as ubiquitous as the world's most famous hamburger-flipping outlet.
Brooklyn-born Howard Schultz made his billion dollars as the brains behind Starbucks, a brand I am ill at ease with mentioning in these pages. Back in early 2001, the transplanted Seattle native purchased the Seattle SuperSonics, taking in great acclaim during his initial press conference as he all but guaranteed to spend the sort of money that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (who purchased the Mavs a year earlier) had begun spending on his playoff-bound outfit. That's not revisionist history. This is who he aligned himself with.
Instead, Schultz went cheap. He acted like a prat on the sidelines, he gave free tickets to Kenny G, he refused to pony up when rivals in Portland made a coaching offer to "Mr. Sonic" Nate McMillan, and he quickly lost interest in the club. In 2006, after a very public tryout that proved the burgh of Oklahoma City to be more than viable as an NBA outlet, he sold the SuperSonics to two OKC businessmen. Schultz later sued the two men after they shockingly moved the team to Oklahoma, in an attempt to save face amongst those with IQ numbers that rival the size in ounces of your typical espresso. He later quietly withdrew the suit.
Seattle can be blamed for losing the SuperSonics, as the city refused to vote for a tax increase that would have funded a new stadium. It's a skeevy practice, no doubt, but it is the norm these days in professional sports. But Schultz is generally, and rightfully, listed as the main reason why the SuperSonics aren't in Seattle anymore. He sold a defenseless, flightless bird to a pair of hungry carnivores, pretending not to know their beyond-obvious intent as he added more millions to his already-Trenta bank account.
The producer of this video, who is not affiliated with the man who was initially tossed out, is Adam Brown. Last year, Adam produced a documentary entitled SonicsGate that is an absolute must-view, a film that documents the series of lies tossed the way of the SuperSonics die-hards that wanted their team to stay where it belonged. And because Schultz couldn't handle a man in a SuperSonics hat, we now have an actual press release from the fellows at SonicsGate to quote from as we continue to relay the fact that Howard Schultz completely and utterly betrayed the city that made him a billion dollars:
Adam Brown, producer of the Webby Award-winning 2009 documentary "Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team" detailing the Sonics' scandalous relocation, was walking past the front of the line when [Scott] Pattison motioned for him to "Watch this" before beginning his rant at Schultz. Brown proceeded to record the incident on a FlipCam before walking to the back of the line.
Closer analysis of the video shows Schultz pointing at Brown and saying "That guy right there!" to signal for Brown's ejection even before Pattison begins accosting Schultz. Brown and Pattison did not know each other prior to Friday's events, and the two have never spoken outside of the exchange caught on camera.
Following Pattison's outburst, Brown stood quietly in line wearing a Sonics hat and shirt before store security and police escorted him out of the building. Officials refused to provide a legitimate reason for ejecting the longtime Costco member, only saying that "Howard doesn't want you here, so Costco doesn't want you here." Brown managed to roll a few more seconds of video and left peacefully without incident.
Kindly go over to sonicsgate.org if you need any more background on what a weasel Schultz has been throughout this whole affair.