Houston Rockets Harassment Lawsuit Dismissed

Houston Rockets Harassment Lawsuit Dismissed

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A Brooklyn judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Brooklyn Nets gay food server Rasean Tate on Sept. 9. The lawsuit claims members of the Houston Rockets used gay slurs to harass Tate during a game at the Barclays Center in Feb. 2013.

A gay harassment lawsuit filed against the Houston Rockets was dismissed by a Brooklyn, N.Y. judge on Sept. 9.

Rasean Mathis, a Brooklyn Nets food server, filed the lawsuit against the Rockets, who  he claims used gay slurs during a game at the Barclays Center in Feb. 2013, per The New York Daily News‘ John Marzulli:

“His lawsuit against the Houston Rockets was an airball.

“A Brooklyn judge dismissed a discrimination claim by a gay food server who alleged he was ridiculed by unidentified players in the visitor’s locker room at Barclays Center.

“Federal Judge Jack Weinstein ruled Monday that since Rasean Tate was not a Rockets’ employee, there is no basis to sue the team for the alleged retaliation that ensued after he complained to his employer, Levy Restaurant Holdings, about the harrassment. Tate claimed he was barred from working in the locker rooms and his overtime was curtailed. 

“Tate claims in the suit that while setting up a buffet on Feb. 22, 2013 before a Nets-Rockets game, several unidentified players yelled behind his back, ‘Get this f—-t outta here!’ and accused Tate of ‘trying to catch a sneaky peeky,’ according to court papers.

“Weinstein said the suit can proceed against Levy. ‘We respect the judge’s decision but it doesn’t take away the culpability of what Houston Rockets players and staff did in the locker room that day,’ said Tate’s lawyer Marjorie Mesidor. 

“‘The comments were discriminatory and they happened.’ 

“The Rockets argued in court papers that it was unaware of the incident prior the filing of the suit in April.” 

In another team development, The Houston Chronicle’s Jonathan Feigen argues whether the Rockets need to sign a veteran center to back up superstar Dwight Howard:

“Do the Rockets also need a veteran backup at center?

“Leaving aside the demands of those still pining for a third star, which remains their long-term goal and a different subject, the Rockets’ backups inside are Joey Dorsey, Jeff Adrien, Donatas Motiejunas and Josh Powell. Dorsey is a veteran of sorts, but his successful experience is in Europe, not in his time in the NBA, and he remains a question until he does it in the NBA. Motiejunas is moving into his third season and should be able to reliably contribute, but is far from proven. Adrien is probably the most predictable after his impressive 28 games with the Bucks in his fourth NBA season, but also most clearly limited.

“It would seem that the same logic that indicated that the Rockets could use a veteran with Isaiah Canaan, Troy Daniels and Nick Johnson would indicate they could use a veteran with Dorsey, Motiejunas and Adrien.

“That’s where it gets more complicated, and not only because with 16 guaranteed contracts, they already have one more than they can bring into the season.

“Adding (Jason) Terry can’t hurt. He might be able to help on the court, but if he can’t, he cost two players not in the Rockets’ plans and comes with a couple picks and a potentially movable contract. Adding a center could bring tougher choices.

“If the Rockets sought to chase one of the free agent centers in the FIBA World Cup — Aron Baynes or Gustavo Ayon — they likely would have had to offer more than one season. Ayon already seems headed back to Spain for a better deal than he was offered in the NBA. The Rockets generally don’t mind doling out more contracts than they have roster spots, but they don’t want to impact next summer’s flexibility. 

“They could look at some of the free agent veterans still on the market. But they would have to ask if Nazr Mohammed or Ryan Hollins can help more than Dorsey. For that matter, if those are options, is the need for a veteran in the midst of their backup big men as needed as it was with their even younger, more inexperienced backup guards.” 

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 


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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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