Greg Piatek of Philadelphia claimed the staff of the Happiest Hour on 10th Street in New York City's West Village kicked him out of the establishment in January 2017 for donning a "Make America Great Again" hat, the New York Post reported.
Attorney Elizabeth Conway, who represented the Happiest Hour in the case, contended that while religious discrimination is protected under the law, supporting President Trump is "not a religion". "He was asked to leave after being verbally abusive to our staff, which is something we don't tolerate regardless of who you are". "And you need to leave right now, because we won't serve you".
Afterwards, Piatek's group stopped at the bar, where Piatek said he was intentionally ignored by the bartender due to his hat. Those spiritual beliefs "entirely transcend the political realm", the suit claims, and are supposedly loosely related to the 30-year-old tourist's sympathy for the victims of 9/11. "The Make American Great Again hat was part of his spiritual belief", the lawyer added.
"At the time (Piatek) wore his hat, the election of President Trump was over and therefore (he) had no reason to wear the hat for any political goal", Piatek's lawyers argued, according to the suit.
Grieving Popovich will not return for Spurs' playoff game four
But all the guys I played with from Venezuela, Argentina, all the guys in the league just bring that toughness and that fight. Thus, it is the business of basketball that will go on Sunday in San Antonio .
Piatek was served a $15 jalapeño margarita while his friends drank beers. "Rather, it is Plaintiff's [sincere] belief that the hat is representative of a set of closely held spiritual [aspirations] and convictions that entirely transcend the political realm". "They were aware he was wearing that hat", Liggieri said.
The judge asked the lawyer how many others engage in this "spiritual program", but Liggieri could not (obviously) provide the numbers. When Liggieri could not answer, the judge asked "so, it's a creed of one?".
That spurred Piatek's lawyer Paul Liggieri to try some bold legal maneuvering.
"(The) plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates", Cohen said in regards to the court's decision before describing that the unspecified emotional damages amounted to a mere "petty slight". He also said that the bar's actions were not "outrageous conduct".