NFL Hall of Famer Sues Pizza Joint for Racial Discrimination

Lem Barney says he and his wife were denied service
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 12, 2018 6:00 PM CST
NFL Hall of Famer Sues Pizza Joint for Racial Discrimination
In this Oct. 18, 2015, file photo, former Detroit Lions defensive back Lem Barney acknowledges the crowd after receiving a Pro Football Hall of Fame ring during halftime of an NFL football game in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

(Newser) – Former Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney and his wife are suing a Detroit-area pizza chain for racial discrimination after being refused service, the AP reports. The lawsuit filed in federal court Monday says Lem and Jacqueline Barney went to Happy's Pizza in Commerce Township Nov. 2. The lawsuit says a manager referred them to Happy's Southfield location because "they would be more at home there." The Barneys are black. Southfield has a majority black population and Commerce Township is mostly white.

The lawsuit says a manager told police the Barneys were denied service because workers were preparing for a corporate event. Company spokeswoman Sherrie Handrinos denies any discrimination, saying workers were preparing that day for a Nov. 6 opening. She adds many customers were referred to two closer stores, not Southfield. (Walmart was sued for "segregating" black beauty products.)

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