There’s driving while Black, but one man had a recent “clubbing while Black” experience at a Texas nightclub.
Sam Sayed, a Philadelphia student, visited Varsity Tavern with some friends during a trip to Fort Worth last month. His friend, who is Black and from Bronx in New York City, was denied entry because his Air Jordan sneakers were supposedly in violation of the bar’s dress code. Sayed believed that his friend was really kept out of the club because of his skin color.
The friends decided to conduct an experiment to test their discrimination theory, Sayed revealed in a Facebook post.
Sayed’s friend swapped sneakers with a second friend, who is White, in their group. When the friend, who was White and wearing the Jordans, tried to get into the club, the bouncer let him in. Sayed’s African-American friend, who had Sperry’s on his feet, was also allowed in after security triple-checked his shoes.
The nightmarish experience ended with a bouncer kicking out Sayed’s African-American friend, identified as Stephen, after he switched back shoes with the second friend, identified as Sean Gallagher to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The whole ordeal was a blatant example of racism, Sayed said.
“So let me clarify Varsity’s Jordan rule. It’s not that they don’t allow Jordan’s in their establishment, they don’t allow BLACK PEOPLE with Jordan’s in their establishment,” the man wrote. “Thanks Varsity for bringing my worst nightmare to fruition. We are stereotyped as racist people here in Texas and you guys validated that notion.”
Both Sayed and Stephen had visited Varsity before the sneakers incident, with Stephen having been denied entrance after wearing black jogging pants, Stephen told the Star-Telegram.
Stephen is not alone in being targeted by discrimination at Varsity, with other customers having reported unfair treatment on Yelp.
The company released a weak statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon. “We were saddened to learn that there were people who felt discriminated against when they were turned away based on our dress code,” the statement read, adding in the standard routine promise to work with staff on not discriminating against folks.
Of course, people were not buying the statement, which came off as weak and insincere, they said.
“Wow, what an ‘apology,'” one Facebook user wrote.