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Former NFL players sues casino over race issues

TAGs: Casino News, meadows racetrack & casino, mike merriweather, sports

MeadowsCasino_01Former NFL player Mike Merriweather is no longer making his money chasing after quarterbacks. Years retired from the league, Merriweather is now the director of sports marketing at the The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in western Pennsylvania.

Or at least he was until he got fired from his job in January 2012. The dismissal, which came less than a year after he was hired, didn’t sit too well with the former Pittsburgh Steeler and he’s seeking damages after filing a federal lawsuit claiming that he was fired because of perceptions about his race.

According to Merriweather’s lawsuit, he was fired from his job as a result of disagreements he had with the casino’s director of casino marketing, Steven Hartmann, who also had a hand in making disparaging remarks about Merriweather’s race, saying that he was potentially violent and was susceptible to assaulting people – all because he’s black. Merriweather took offense to those assertions, contending that he is actually an ordained minister, and is certified as an anger management and substance abuse counselor, a far cry from the violent individual the casino’s senior management team painted him to be.

Incidentally, Hartmann and Sean Sullivan, the Meadows’ vice president and general manager, the man who hired Merriweather in April 2011, are both white.

Upon his hiring, Merriweather was given the job to promote events that would attract other pro athletes to the casino. As part of the arrangement he made with the casino, Merriweather was given a salary of $5,000 on top of a 10-percent commission from all of the money the casino generates from athletes. Merriweather has yet to receive the commission he has earned, the suit said, and that’s in addition to

The casino, which is being sued along with parent company Cannery Casino Resorts, declined to comment on the suit that was filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.

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