John Amaechi claims that a gay bar in Manchester refused to admit him because he is black. Amaechi went to the bar Crunch Friday night and was allegedly prevented from going in while other members of his party were admitted. Said Amaechi on Twitter:
I can't believe it. I got barred from entering a bar (Crunch Bar in Manchester) because I was "big and black and could be trouble." Wow.
However, bar manager Mark Taylor claims Amaechi and some of his friends were not allowed in because of their behavior at another bar. Amaechi posted this message on Facebook, allegedly from Taylor:
Your group was stopped from entering the venue on Friday night as a message was received over the NiteNet radio system... that your group had been argumentative and aggressive to another venue’s door staff.
Amaechi has responded with this message on Facebook:
I just checked with Taurus and Via - they aren't even connected to Nitenet! This man is a bigot AND a liar.
We have not been able to corroborate that those were the two bars cited by Taylor, but the manager of Via did leave this message on Facebook:
Just wanted to add a point from VIA - John and his group were in our venue and were as always polite respectful . I do not know John personally but i have a great respect for the amount he does for OUR community.I was on the nitenet system all night as well as my head doorman and i do not remember any messages that were connected to Johns party . Tony -Via
Taylor spoke with the BBC and maintained that his staff followed proper protocol, attacking Amaechi for trying to discredit the bar with allegations of racism:
Whilst I understand it is upsetting to be turned away from a venue when on a night out, to justify a refusal of entry by provoking a racist debate is completely uncalled for.
Following a discussion with the staff that were present at the time, we are satisfied that there was neither racism shown nor bigoted comments made as suggested.
Crunch is a large venue in the gay village employing people of all different groups: white, black, gay, straight and more - we do not discriminate on any grounds.
These allegations are outrageous and completely unfounded.
This is surely just the beginning of this fight, as Amaechi says he will pursue this "through all the channels I have."