Joe Barry Carroll is suing an Atlanta restaurant/meat market for racial bias

Ball Don't Lie

This is a weird one.

Former NBA center Joe Barry Carroll, who we should point out that was one of the more disappointing players of his generation, is suing an Atlanta-area restaurant for racial discrimination. According to the suit, which goes in front of a grand jury on Monday, Carroll and a friend (also African-American) were asked to give up their seats at the bar to two white women.

Here's the breakdown from the Associated Press:

They will try to prove during the trial that began Monday that the restaurant has a systematic plan to discourage black patrons.

The two men, who are black, said they were removed by security guards when they refused to leave their seats.

The restaurant has said it often asks men to give up their seats to women at the bar and has denied the discrimination accusations.

We obviously weren't privy to what went down at the Tavern, but this seems par for the course for a restaurant that apparently seems hell-bent on allowing somewhat affluent 20-somethings a chance to fling their bodies at each other after enjoying a nice crab cake or a Caesar salad before 12 appletinis.

Some of the Yelp reviews of the Tavern are pretty telling:

{YSP:MORE}

"some idiot thought it would be a good idea to bring me here on a first date. I never talked to him again. It took our stripper waitress about 15 minutes to take our drink orders. Then I ordered a salad because my ignorant date told me how great they were. it was the grossest thing I've ever tasted at a restaurant. You couldn't drag me back to this place."

***

"Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

By the way, ew.

The food's good, but I hate coming here. I don't particularly care for the service and the crowd is awful. I realize this isn't their fault. According to pending litigation, the management even tried to do something about it by limiting certain types of patrons from sitting at the bar.

I don't know whether that's true or not, but I didn't have a problem with the people they were trying to keep out. They clearly cater to the cliché that is Buckhead... guys in boat shoes trying [successfully] to pick up girls."

***

"Well, I was taken here on two first dates. This is NOT a date spot. And in my opinion, it's not a spot I would want to go period. The clientele is just not my crowd and to me this place seemed like a bar for guys that like to hang with their buddies and ogle the waitresses in their trampy outfits. Really, just not my scene at all."

***

"5 words - thought it was a joke. No, but seriously... the first time I came here I thought SURELY they had some kind of special event going on which was the reason the girls were dressed in outfits that put Hooters and Tilted Kilt to shame.

Most of the time they aren't doing anything, and frequently sit on the outside rails staring at you while you eat."

***

"If I was an overgrown frat boy with a striped polo shirt and boat shoes without socks and/or an old perv, then I would give this pseudo-strip club in the mall place a solid 5 stars for the ability to see my server's ovaries along with my crappy beer.  Unfortunately for me, I enjoy good food, nice drinks, and decent service and I can look at my own arse if I need a thrill...so nothing special here for me."

***

"Food was decent but the service here was HORRIBLE. We waited about 10 minutes to get our drinks after being seated. Oh and did I mention that when we first walked into the restaurant, the hostess ignored us to finish like totally her conversation before telling us to go to the other side for a server to seat us? Servers ignored us until one finally decided to get our drink order. Manager was walking around not seeing how we were sitting there being ignored. Tavern I was extremely excited to visit you but the first time was enough to be the last time."

Doesn't really sound like the sort of scene a 53-year old man would seem welcome in, regardless of his race.

So, after about 20 minutes worth of "research" and a whole lot of ignorant assumptions, I've come to the conclusion that the managers and/or staff at the Tavern weren't exactly being racist when they asked Carroll and his friend to give up their seats to women. They were just being skeevy jerks.

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