According to the suit, Hayes complained, and was told, “white acts bring in more money.”

The suit also says that Hayes was warned that people perceive him as “aggressive” because he is “a large black man with an intimidating voice and commanding presence,” and was advised to “watch [his] tone” when talking to others.

Hayes goes on to allege that he was fired in April for trumped-up reasons, in retaliation against him.

Alleging race discrimination and retaliation, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

In a statement to TheWrap on Thursday, the Hawks’ chief diversity and inclusion officer Nzinga Shaw denied the allegations in the lawsuit.

“Samuel Hayes is a former security manager at Philips Arena,” Shaw said. “He was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless. We will defend vigorously.”

The Wrap