Skip to comments.Bar patron claims tattoo discrimination on Norris Lake (paging Justice Kennedy)
Posted on 06/28/2013 9:15:38 AM PDT by llevrok
MAYNARDVILLE (WATE) - A local bar patron is claiming he was discriminated against because of his tattoos. The incident happened Saturday evening at Bubba Brew's on Norris Lake in Maynardville. The restaurant says some of the tattoos were offensive to families dining there.
Bubba Brew's is a floating sports pub and grill attached to Beach Island Marina, so there's not much of a dress code. People come off the water to eat and drink in their swimsuits and flip flops. It has the only full bar within a 30 mile radius so it draws quite a crowd. But employees say before the sun goes down, it is a family establishment.
"It's a beautiful place. It's on the lake, good food," admits Mike McKeown.
But when he stopped by Bubba Brew's on Saturday, he says the owner's father made it clear he wasn't welcome.
"He said, 'I can't have that "I love strippers" tattoo showing. You're going to have to put your shirt on,'" recalled McKeown.
"There were some kids trying to figure out what he had written all over his body. You know, it's real simple. We pay the mortgage, we pay the insurance, we're going to make the rules," said Ned Bass.
He says the restaurant doesn't have a problem with tattoos; Bubba himself has several. The issue was this specific ink, some of which we can't show you.
"In a family-oriented establishment, you can't have the obscenities he has on his body. That's free speech. He can go to the beach, but he can't come to Bubba Brew's," Bass said.
McKeown admits the cartoon on his side is a mistake from his younger days, but he says he was unfairly singled out from others he's seen at the bar in the past.
"I've seen Nazi tattoos on people. I've seen naked women tattoos on people down there," McKeown claims.
"That's incorrect. That's totally incorrect," Bass countered."In the five years I've been here, I don't think I've ever seen tattoos that bad, quite honestly."
We showed the tattoos in question to Mark Bradley, who's vacationing on the lake this week with his family from Indiana.
"Some of the things on there were a little inappropriate for my two daughters to see because obviously they can read and spell and all that. I think those kinds of things, if you're going to come into a family establishment, you better cover them up," Bradley said.
Bubba Brew's has banned McKeown for the next year, but McKeown said he has no desire to go back after the way he was treated.
We asked 6 News legal analyst Greg Isaacs about the dispute. He said the restaurant was within its rights since people with tattoos are not protected under anti-discrimination laws.
I agree with Bass.
It used to be back in the day that you only saw tattooes on truckers and sailors and some hippee freaks. They looked disgusting then and they look more disgusting now-—especially on women. It’s now wonder that many of our youth covered from head to toe with piercings and tattooes cannot find a job. It used to be considered a sign of nonconformity. Now....I think it is a sign of nonconformity NOT to defile your body with such hideous graffiti and piercings. Even the Bible commands us not to defile our bodies this way. It is not attractive. It amazes me how people go out of their way to make themselves look so ridiculous. It floors me when I am in the market. Someone buys their food with foodstamps, yet they have tattooes. They can find the money to get tattooed, but they cannot find the money to buy their own food. This country is sinking to new lows with each passing day.
McKeown has a right to be a stupid jerk. He doesn’t have the right to be a stupid jerk in Bass’s restaurant.
Great to hear I am not the only person who is creeped out by people defacing their bodies.
They certainly have a right to do it, and I certainly have a right to not want to see someone who looks filthy.
Some of the art work would be beautiful on canvas but on human skin, and not meaning to offend but, especially on darker skin, it is just plain ugly and does give an unwashed appearance.
Many things we have a right to do are not the best life choices.
I’m an Inky. If you don’t want me there, ask me to leave and I’ll go.
It isn’t my restaurant and I don’t pretend to make the rules.
Freedom of association also means a freedom to exclude some folks.
I find all tattoos offensive, but it is useless to complain about it.
There was a picture floating around the net a while back of a woman who had tat’s over almost her whole body. The point of the pic was to show what happened to all those beautiful young hippie chicks and their gloriously tattoed bodies after 50 or 60 years.
This woman was wearing a pair of sandals, nothing else, and looked to be near 70, covered with tattoes and strolling through a group of bikers. Disturbing is the best word I can think of to describe it. Don’t try to look it up unless your insurance covers emotional trauma.
You are quite correct. Tattooes do not age well. Imagine an elderly woman with sagging boobs and a tattoo on that. I shudder to think of it. Tattooes fade on ageing skin. They do not hold up well. It is like looking at an older person with long hair and a pony tail. Simply ridiculous.
My grandfather had one.
But he was a gunners mate on a 4-stack destroyer during WWI and fought the Bolsheviks with the Allied Expeditionary Force to Russia. If he wants the standard USN petty officer’s anchor tattoo, nobody better argue with him...
I have never been asked to leave anywhere because of my ink.
The only questions I have ever had after compliments, was what was the significance of the dates.
I am of the mind though, that the ink must have meaning which can last a life time, not something that seems good at the moment.
Also have never seen an artist do ink with walk ins, and long discussions with the person about why they are getting ink. (OH, who knows maybe I just go to great inkers).
Also know many men who have lots of ink for prison ministry, as they are not allowed to bring Bibles, so they ink their walk with Christ and the story of Salvation plus surfers who ink Salvation messages, so when they are asked have a pictorial of the Message.
Agree. Tattoos are pagan and hideous. It is particularly disturbing to see pretty young women with beautiful skin mar it permanently with those awful ink colors. *sigh*
And it’s almost funny to see earth mothers, who rail against anything “unnatural”, covered with tats. Isn’t the ink a foreign chemical? Aren’t they worried about it seeping into breast milk, or is that only for parts per billion traces of other chemicals found in manufactured products?
The whole world has gone nuts. When I was younger, only ex-cons and old sailors had tattoos. They were ugly then, and they’re ugly now.
That is the problem with anti-discrimination laws. They destroy the right to freedom of association. I am in agreement with Sowell and Williams (both black, if you didn’t know) who say private businesses and individuals should be able to refuse to do business with anyone on any basis, even skin color. Most businesses are quite happy to do business with almost anyone, as long as their money is good.
Anti-discrimination laws concerning race were the camel’s nose under the tent. Now we have Christians being sued for not renting rooms to homosexuals or providing services for their “weddings”.
If racists want to be racist, they will just lose out to other businesses that are not. Government was main culprit in discrimination in the South in the form of the Jim Crow laws. As usual, government is the root of most of our ills.
Me neither. Only two of my tats are visible in short sleeves and neither are vulgar, explicit, etc... One is a tribal design I came up with and the other is a tarantula (My Dad is an arachnophobe).
If you open up your business to the public, you should expect the public to bring their baggage along with them. However, it is YOUR business and you define the limits. If we the public think you are taking things too far, we'll take our money elsewhere and you will go out of business.
Funny how free markets take care of problems like that all on their own without some bureaucrat getting their pound of flesh out of the deal...
Even the Bible commands us not to defile our bodies this way.Yep! And here's the verse for anyone interested:
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. --Leviticus 19:28
Same here. One thing I do is avoid hiring models/talent who have any visible ones.
He wasn't even told to leave, he was just asked to put on a shirt.
Too bad the rest of the world doesn't have your respectful attitude.