PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Like many social motorcycle clubs, the Ruff Ryders enjoy easy riding and raising money for charity.
But on Friday, July 21 a club event at the “Drum Bar” of the “Rivers Casino” was cut short.
Members paid for a disc jockey and the venue until 2 a.m., but security pulled the plug at midnight.
The Casino stated the party was over because of safety concerns when the crowd far exceeded capacity.
“The only difference was the majority of the crowd was African American for this particular night,” Ruff Ryder member Kenneth Wright said. “I think it was race.”
“And I’m asking the Casino, is this true? Is there some explanation you can offer – because people believe this.” Allegheny County Councilwoman Amanda Green Hawkins, who is also a civil and human rights attorney, has sent a letter to Rivers Casino management citing constituent complaints about boxing promotions that were shut down – as well as other allegations.
“There’s also an allegation that Omega Psi Phi Fraternity had an event over at the casino and they were charged twice as much as the normal rate,” she said.
Ms. Hawkins does not want to see the black community boycott the casino as some of her constituents have suggested.
“Bottom line, how can we come together to fix this so that we have a business that thrives – we have promoters who can thrive financially – and we have members of the African-American community who feel they can go to the casino like anyone.”
The Casino released this statement: “The Rivers Casino has zero tolerance for racism of any kind. We are proud of our diversity track record regarding employment, service providers and community outreach.”
The councilwoman is scheduling a meeting with casino managers before the end of this month.