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Ex-Detroit Lion Barney accuses pizza chain of discrimination

(AP Photo/Jose Juarez)

DETROIT (AP) Former Detroit Lions Hall of Famer Lem Barney and his wife are suing a Detroit-area pizza chain for racial discrimination after being refused service.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Monday says Lem and Jacqueline Barney went to Happy's Pizza in Commerce Township Nov. 2. The lawsuit says a manager referred them to Happy's Southfield location because "they would be more at home there."

The Barneys are black. Southfield has a majority black population and Commerce Township is mostly white.

The lawsuit says a manager told police the Barneys were denied service because workers were preparing for a corporate event.

Company spokeswoman Sherrie Handrinos denies any discrimination, saying workers were preparing that day for a Nov. 6 opening. She adds many customers were referred to two closer stores, not Southfield.

Updated November 12, 2018

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