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Bowling Shoe Foul

July 19, 2010

An off duty New York City cop was barred entrance into a bowling alley earlier this year because he was told that his shoes violated the venue’s dress code.  Aubrey Henry was wearing a pair of Nike ACG boots (pictured below), and while other bowlers were allowed in wearing similar footwear, Henry is African-American, and the other bowlers were white.

“I thought it was a joke, I couldn’t believe it,” said Henry, “We’re going bowling! You take your shoes off when you go bowling.”

Apparently, Lucky Strike Lanes has a dress code prohibiting construction boots.  …But I guarantee that those Nikes wouldn’t pass as appropriate footwear on any construction site!  Looks like a high-top tennis shoe to me.

“They used a dress code as a pretext to discriminate against black people,” said John Nonnenmacher, Henry’s lawyer. “They didn’t let [Henry] in because of the color of his skin.”

Needless to say, Audrey Henry is suing the bowling alley.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2010 9:01 am

    I am amazed that this is STILL going on. Years ago clubs in this country used to use their so-called dress code as a means of discrimination.

    • Elsa permalink*
      July 19, 2010 10:09 pm

      Yeah, this kind of blatancy is pretty amazing… though, I’d be hard pressed to find a dress code that wasn’t created to discriminate against a group – may not be racial all of the time, but definitely singling out certain groups depending on the code… the “sort of people” who wear baggy, slouched pants… the “kind of person” who wears more religious clothing (…or less, depending on the code!)
      Not to mention all of the discrimination that less attractive people face in our culture (just take a look at a lot of the comments on the American Apparel post – many people said they would rather be helped by a pretty clerk, and didn’t seem to mind what that meant for all of the potentially more helpful, less attractive clerks out there.
      Deborah L. Rhode wrote a new book this summer about that mindset from a legal perspective: “The Beauty Bias” – which I’ll post on as soon as I get my hands on a copy…!

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