A former NFL player said a bartender called him a racial slur when he went to pay his bill – which read “black man” instead of his name.
Quentin Hines, who is a 5-year resident of Mount Clemens, Michigan, was out celebrating St. Patrick’s day at Madison’s Pub on Walnut Street when a bartender called him the n-word, reports WJBK.
"He said, 'Just pay your tab, just pay your tab,' I said, 'I am,'" Hines told the news station. "He said, 'Just pay your tab.' I said, 'I am, but I want to order something else.' 'Just pay your tab [n-word].' I said, 'Can I speak to the manager,' he said, 'I am the manager.'"
Instead of escalating the situation, Hines said he kept his cool, paid the bill, and walked out. But when he looked at his receipt, he saw “black guy” written on it instead of his name.
Hines is a 2008 graduate of Mount Clemens High School and a former New England Patriots running back, WWJ notes. He said he’s never had to deal with such racism until now,.
"I was labeled from the time I walked in there," Hines told WJBK.
The pub’s manager was reportedly not available to comment to the news station, but Pete Peacock, the owner’s lawyer, addressed the allegations of racism.
“We’ve talked to the bartender, he’s denied those allegations,” Peacock said, adding that "the employee has now been suspended and we're working on it."
Madison’s Pub has yet to offer any apology or information to the victim.
"From what I read on their Facebook page, they said they were going to investigate, make corrective action if needed," Hines said. "I don't understand how it's 'if needed.'
"You're teaching or training your employees to identify their customers by their race. My bill is the first problem."
The incident has gotten the attention of some community leaders as well.
"That could not have happened, had the person had not harbored that attitude for quite a while," Greg Murray of Michigan Advocacy Coalition said. "And who knows whether you're the first or not?"
Murray and Pastor DL Bradley plan to meet with the owner's attorney on March 22 to further discuss the matter.
"I really want to commend you on how you responded to it," Bradley told Hines. "You took the high road."
"I said hey, if I would have responded badly or poorly, or assaulted the guy, it would not have been 'NFL player racially profiled,'" Hines said. "It would have been 'NFL player assaults bartender and goes to jail.'"