A Black man has hired attorneys to file a federal lawsuit against popular Fort Worth bar Varsity Tavern, claiming that staff refused to allow him entry because of his race.
Stephen Acheampong of Philadelphia, along with several other men filed the suit alleging that he was twice turned away in March 2018 for alleged dress code violations. According to Acheampong, staff allowed non-Black patrons to enter the establishment, despite them wearing similar items of clothing, per the Star-Telegram.
“Being kept out of Varsity Tavern because of my race was embarrassing and made me feel defeated,” Acheampong told reporters in a new released. “I didn’t feel like I had the same right to enjoy the bar as everyone else did.”
Acheampong was a student in a pre-medical school at the time and says he was visiting Fort Worth on spring break in March 2018. Staff refused him entry because he was wearing Jordans. He then switched shoes with his friend, who was a Caucasian male. His friend was allowed entry, but he was still denied, despite wearing boat shoes.
They then switched shoes once again, and Acheampong was once again asked to leave because he was wearing the Air Jordans.
Acheampong was not alone.
In 2017, another Black male tried to enter the same bar was refused by bouncers because he was wearing tan ankle boot, and his cousin was refused for wearing ripped jeans -- despite white patrons in the bar at the time also wearing ripped jeans.
An evident pattern is emerging.
A year later, Smith tried again, and a bouncer looked at him, saw he was an African-American, and told him to go, according to the lawsuit.