MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WJBK) - A Mount Clemens man says he was just trying to pay his tab when the bartender called him the n-word.
Quentin Hines, a college graduate, former NFL player, and five-year resident in Mount Clemens says he's come here to Madison's Pub on Walnut Street before, and he's never had to deal with any kind of racism until now.
While out enjoying St. Patrick's Day at Madison's Pub, Quentin Hines says a bartender called him the n-word when all he wanted to do was make another order at the bar.
"He said 'Just pay your tab, just pay your tab,' I said I am," Hines said. "He said 'Just pay your tab. I said I am, but I want to order something else. 'Just pay your tab n*****.' I said can I speak to the manager, he said 'I am the manager.'"
In that kind of situation, anyone could easily let their anger get the best of them. Hines kept a cool head, paid his bill, and walked out.
But once he took a look at his receipt, he saw "black guy" on it, instead of his name.
"I was labeled from the time I walked in there," Hines said.
FOX 2 went inside Madison's Pub to see what management had to say but once inside, was told the manager and owner were not available and quickly given a statement on a small sheet of paper.
The statement doesn't issue an apology to Hines, but does state that "whatever corrective action will be taken."
The owner's attorney came out a short time later and spoke with FOX 2.
"We've talked to the bartender, he's denied those allegations," said Pete Peacock, the bar owner's attorney.
FOX 2: "The receipt itself says 'black guy.'"
"That's unfortunate," Peacock said. "But we're dealing with that right now. The employee has now been suspended and we're working on it."
FOX 2: "What have you gotten from management on what's going to be done?"
"Absolutely nothing," Hines said. "From what I read on their Facebook page, they said they were going to investigate, make corrective action if needed. I don't understand how it's 'if needed.'
"You're teaching or training your employees to identify their customers by their race. My bill is the first problem."
It is a problem that's gotten the attention of some community leaders.
"That could not have happened, had the person had not harbored that attitude for quite a while," said Greg Murray. "And who knows whether you're the first or not?"
Murray and Pastor DL Bradley with the Michigan Advocacy Coalition came to the bar, and are planning to meet with the owner's attorney on Tuesday to talk about the matter further.
"I really want to commend you on how you responded to it," said Bradley to Hines. "You took the high road."
"I said hey, if I would have responded badly or poorly, or assaulted the guy, it would not have been NFL player racially profiled. It would have been NFL player assaults bartender and goes to jail."
The bartender has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. Hines says he doesn't want this to put a negative image on downtown Mount Clemens. He has never had any issues and he likes living there.
At the same time, he wants to encourage anyone who comes across a similar situation to keep a cool head and walk away.