Texas bar sued for denying Black man entry for wearing Air Jordans

A popular bar in Texas is being sued for manipulating it's dress code to discriminate against Black men.

A Black man from Philadelphia who was visiting Fort Worth, Texas on spring break in 2018 has filed a federal lawsuit against a popular bar in the area for discriminating by using the bar dress code explicitly against black men.

What We Know:

  • Stephen Acheampong, who was at the time a pre-medical school student, filed the lawsuit against Varsity Tavern after he was allegedly turned away twice by bouncers for violating the bar’s dress code.
  • Acheampong said he was denied entry while wearing Air Jordan sneakers. When he switched shoes with a white friend, the friend was allowed in the bar wearing them without a problem.
  • “Being kept out of Varsity Tavern because of my race was embarrassing and made me feel defeated,” Acheampong said in a news release. “I didn’t feel like I had the same right to enjoy the bar as everyone else did.”
  • Acheampong’s lawsuit also mentions a previous incident, back in 2017, when another Black man named Christopher Smith tried to go inside Varsity Tavern but was stopped because he had on tan ankle boots.
  • Smith’s cousin was also reportedly turned away for wearing ripped jeans although both men saw white patrons inside of the bar in ripped jeans, the lawsuit stated.
  • The lawsuit further alleged that once the men were inside the bar, they switched back to their original shoes. A bouncer once again told Acheampong he had to leave because he was wearing the Air Jordans.
  • The federal lawsuit also included online reviews that also mention discriminatory incidents at the bar.

Officials for Varsity Tavern have not commented on the lawsuit at this time.