Ex-Hawks employee sues, claims discrimination against whites

ATLANTA -- A former Atlanta Hawks employee is accusing the professional basketball club of discriminating against white people and firing her after she complained.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Margo Kline filed a lawsuit Friday seeking punitive damages and a trial. The lawsuit said Hawks external affairs director David Lee, who is black, promoted a culture of discrimination against white people, and especially white women.

Kline, who is white, worked as a community development coordinator for five years before her March 2017 firing.

The lawsuit said Lee would make jokes about "white culture," hiring and promoting black employees -- who Kline said were less qualified -- over white people.

The NBA team denies Kline's claims and said it plans to defend against them. The Hawks' statement said discrimination claims are taken seriously and Kline's were thoroughly reviewed.