A former employee of the Atlanta Hawks is leveling claims that the organization discriminates against white people and is suing the team for damages. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports Margo Kline, who worked as a community development coordinator for the team for five years, filed the lawsuit last week and is looking to collect punitive damages as well as go to trial.
In the lawsuit, Kline alleges that David Lee, the team's external affairs director, encouraged discrimination against white people—white women in particular. Kline says Lee, who's black, would make racial jokes and discuss the promotion of black employees she saw as less qualified over white ones. She also says she was "unfairly scrutinized" for her work with the team and that other white coworkers within the organization were told not to speak to her or risk losing their jobs. Kline claims that she was fired last March when she brought up these concerns.
The Hawks has denied Kline's claims and issued a statement. "We take all claims of discrimination seriously and have performed a thorough review of these baseless claims," the team said. "We deny these claims and will vigorously defend against them."