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Barnett's bar-trouble or racism?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by net, Jun 21, 2006.

  1. net

    net Cheesehead

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    Wilde with another piece of first-rate journalism. The guy has guts.
    -----------

    Packers: Race concerns could be factor for Barnett
    JASON WILDE
    608-252-6176
    jwilde@madison.com
    GREEN BAY - Nick Barnett sat in his locker and pondered the question. After what he has learned the past few weeks, the Green Bay Packers linebacker wanted to choose his words carefully.

    Last September, Barnett, the Packers' 2003 first-round draft pick, opened FiveSix Ultra Lounge - named for his jersey number - in the former Historic West Theatre building in Green Bay's Broadway district.

    Initially billed as a restaurant and nightclub, critics say FiveSix evolved instead into a bar that happened to serve food, which goes against why the city granted Barnett a license in the first place.

    Neighbors from one of the few residential sites near the club also complained recently about bar-time noise, drunkenness, fights and littering, and one person turned a videotape of the area over to a local TV station and the City Council.

    According to police records obtained by the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the club had 22 police calls in the first five months of 2006.

    So when Barnett's liquor license came up for renewal May 31, the city's Protection and Welfare Committee voted 3-1 to deny his application. At the City Council's June 6 meeting, the vote was 8-4 to uphold the committee's recommendation.

    Those are the facts. What Barnett can't help but wonder is whether race played a role in the city's decision. Not necessarily his race, but that of his patrons, many of whom are black.

    "I was born in an interracial couple. My mom is black, my dad was white," said Barnett, whose club remains open as he appeals the decision. "So I don't have a problem with (being black in Green Bay).

    "I'm not saying the whole city is racist - that's not what I'm saying. But we do get stereotyped here. Like, when (the members of the council) were watching the video of my club. They looked at the way people were dressed and said, 'How do you get that element in your club?' Well, what do you mean by 'element?' Just because they're black? Is that the 'element' you're talking about?"

    When Barnett raised the race issue shortly before the vote, alderman Guy Zima told the Press-Gazette that such an assertion was "make believe." But given the long-standing perception throughout the NFL that Green Bay isn't a place where black players enjoy playing, Barnett's situation probably won't help matters.

    "I haven't had any direct problems, but maybe it's because of the way I carry myself. If you're out there doing the whole gangsta thing or the thug thing, then I think people will have a problem with it - here, Milwaukee, Sheboygan, wherever," said veteran long snapper Rob Davis, who joined the Packers in 1997 and lives in Green Bay year-round.

    "In the 10 years that I've been here, five minority-run bars have closed. I don't know if it's bad management, the 'element,' the clientele or what. I don't know. I do know that the diversity of this city is changing, and not all the change has been positive.

    "Before, if you saw a black man, you could identify them pretty easily - a few guys from town, and the rest were players. But over the years, there's been more and more minorities here, and I anticipate it to continue to grow."

    Davis pointed out that few current players pursue business interests in the area, and the best-known ex-player to own a bar here is glory-days offensive lineman Fuzzy Thurston.

    "It's discouraging that instead of working with me, they're trying to put me out of business," said Barnett, who also lives in Green Bay full-time and is moving his mother and sister here this week. "Do you expect any of these guys in this locker room to invest in this community now? I wouldn't suggest for them to do that."

    Coach Mike McCarthy, whose parents owned a bar in Pittsburgh while he was growing up, said the situation "hasn't hurt (Barnett's) performance professionally" during the team's organized team activity practices, which end today. Still, Barnett's contract expires after the 2007 season, and he admitted his experience of the last few weeks will factor into his decision whether to re-sign with the team.

    "I want to play here, I do. I want to be part of this organization. But it is one of the things I will be thinking about when I'm making my decision," Barnett said. "I mean, who wants to be in a city that doesn't want you to invest in the community?"


    Extra points

    Quarterback Brett Favre left town after practice and has been excused from today's final OTA, McCarthy said. ... Starting center Scott Wells was missing from practice, so rookie Jason Spitz moved over from right guard while Junius Coston, whom Spitz overtook at right guard earlier in camp, worked there. ... Also among the missing: linebacker Tracy White, center Wayne Lucier and cornerback Jerron Wishom, one of eight defensive backs who did not practice Tuesday, leaving only three cornerbacks: Ahmad Carroll, Patrick Dendy and Therrian Fontenot.
     
  2. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    I'm not from the area so I'll refrain from commenting but I would be interested to know how you locals feel. Without getting into political views. Is Green Bay less tolerant to diversity than most other places and is it getting better as it becomes more diverse?
     
  3. NDPackerFan

    NDPackerFan Cheesehead

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    I hope we don't lose Barnett because the city commision revokes his liquor license for '56' for God's sake!!!!!!
     
  4. 4packgirl

    4packgirl Cheesehead

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    ditto, depack. geez, great minds really DO think alike, huh?
     
  5. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    true.......I guess I'm the only one here that respects you for your mind.....not your great G's :wink:
     
  6. 4packgirl

    4packgirl Cheesehead

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    that's ok - i'm used to it. the G's dazzle em at first but my mind is what keeps em coming back again & again...well, i'd like to think so anyway!!
     
  7. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Um, Nick...when they refer to "that element", I imagine they are talking about thugs who make life miserable for everyone, not necessarily black folks. Now if those thugs happen to be predominately black.....it is not racism...just decent folks trying like hell to keep their neighborhood quiet and safe.

    Broadway is an area that had been bad for quite some time...drugs, prostitution, etc, which in recent years has seen something of a revitalization. People know what it was like, and what it is currently like...and they are merely trying to protect their homes, families, neighborhood and, in the case of the city, their investment.

    Get control over your clientelle, Nick. You presented the place as a high end restaurant with jazz and other types of music. Sounds like nothing more than another bar full of punks. Big difference!! How about you protect YOUR investment and piss a few thugs off by demanding a higher level of conduct.

    Yeah, it is racism!.
     
  8. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    DePack...less tolerant of diversity, or less tolerant of anti-social behavior?

    Big difference!!
     
  9. DePack

    DePack Cheesehead

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    I meant diversity, but I'm certainly not judging the good people of Green Bay. I love it there. Where are these thugs coming from? If they are mostly African American which I am assuming is the case based on the article, what did they do before the bar opened? I guess I was just confused by the whole thing. On one hand the black players alledgedly don't want to live in Green Bay because it is "all white". On the other hand Barnett opens a, what is basically a "hip-hop" bar and it is thriving to the point that neighbors are complaining :?: Apparently Green Bay IS becoming more diverse.
     
  10. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    I see lots of black people when i go up to GB. AND i see some of the people that carry themselves like "gangstas". I can see why people wouldn't want that in their backyards. I know i wouldn't want that in my yard. It all comes down to respect for those around you. If you don the gangsta look and attitude, you are not going to be wanted.
     
  11. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    In 2006 St. Nick's has had to call police once a week average to handle distrubances St. Nick's could not.

    "That element" is tolerated at St Nicks because they are not kicked out when warning signs are there but continue bad behavior until police have to subdue the situation.

    A bar is not an adult Romper room. One must conform to the rules of society. Security must nip problems before they escalate out of control and police get called. St. Nicks has been out of control 22 times this year.

    Instead of racism he may want to adopt a good neighbor policy of outdoor trash cans to reduce neighborhood litter and take some steps to reduce the public urination near his bar. How about picking up trash in the morning?

    St. Nick was an absentee owner who hired people with a poor view of security and acceptable behavior.

    St. Nick if he truly wants to be a part of the community should contribute to it and not be a source of community problems.

    Is it racist to not want weekly police sirens and disturbances in the neighborhood?

    Is it racist to not want nightly littering on your property?
    Is it racist to ask the owner of a parking lot to pick up litter in his parking lot?

    Is it racist to dislike obnoxiously loud drunks and strangers routinely urinating in your yard?

    I'm sure the police have have not been called to Fuzzy's 22 times this year. Sorry St. Nick but you hired bad management that allowed this to happen and you refused to correct it. Does Fuzzy tolerate litter around his place?

    Now you have a restaurant without a liquor licence deal with it.

    And hire someone to pick up your customers litter.
     
  12. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    This article saying Nick thinks race could be involved?? I can't read the article yet.


    Personally if all that happened to me was someone pissing in my yard in that neck of the woods, I'd be happy. That area is not a good part of town. It's not the worst, not a chance, but its part of the 'rebuilding down town' project the city has taken.


    Living near bars and night clubs etc you should understand stupid crap is gonna happen.

    I say if you can't handle it move. Children shouldn't be living near a bar anyways.
     
  13. SuperRat

    SuperRat Cheesehead

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    I see this as being somewhat racist. From what I remember in other articles, the same thing has happened to other bars there and they got a chance to clean it up no problem. Barnett has said that he was going to run it better and hire more security and stuff like that. He seems to be interested in fixing the problems but may not get the chance to. If it was a white bar owner with mostly white customers with the same problem would the bar owner get a second chance? Perhaps not, but it seems more likely.
     
  14. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    It's not about race. I've lived in GB for a very long time. Most of my life. People complain about other bars too, its not media involved because they are not owned by a Green Bay Packer.
     
  15. SuperRat

    SuperRat Cheesehead

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    Well the main thing is when this first came up it was reported that other bars have had the same problem and there was consideration for revoking their liquor licenses but they were given a second chance. On the outside it does seem that their may be a double standard here and it seems somewhat racist. I don't know all the facts so I'm not going around saying Green Bay is racist or anything, just that I can understand why people would think it is racism.
     
  16. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Lemme see here, Nick presented to the community, the same community that grants him his licenses, that he would be operating an upscale restaurant with a live music feature. Instead, the community gets a raucus, frat-house type establishment.

    Last I recall, fights, public urination, noise and litter/vandalism are not a typical feature of an upscale restaurant.

    Why does nobody bring up the fact that Nick grossly misrepresented his business to the community and, as a result, there is some backlash from the residents and, thus, the local govt.

    Racism......the first line of defense!!
     
  17. greenbegas

    greenbegas Cheesehead

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    I am sick of the damn race card! Nick! Wake up! Your "bar" was supposed to be a restaurant... People in GB view it as a hip hop club... There are zoning laws and when your liquor license was granted, it was granted as a restaurant that serves booze.

    All that aside though... You mention other bars in the area that had minority owners were shut down... That maybe so, but why the heck is this happening? I will tell you why... Cocos was shut down because of the every night multiple fights, stabbings and other nonsense that is not needed in Green Bay... Club Manhatten was closed do to the fact that the bar was off the highway in the middle of no where and nobody went there!

    You can't argue with 22 calls made to the cops... That is a fact! Those calls were not being made when it was the gay bar...

    Quit whining and maybe think of how you should have gotten better security at your club.


    And please, please, please!!! Stop using the damn race card... It is old and just pathetic. Take accountability for your club and your customers!!
     
  18. greenbegas

    greenbegas Cheesehead

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    Oh and also... The owner of the Velvet Room was WHITE! His club was shut down and I never heard the race card once!!
     
  19. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Green Bay is a fairly nice place to live. I can't say its racist because we have a heckuva mixture of 'races' here. The worst GB has to offer towards racism is probably... if a clean cut well built dark skinned fella walks by the first thought might be he's a Packer and they want his autograph. Other than that I can't say I've heard of any major serious race issues. We did jus have a race issue at two seperate high schools and seperated by a time frame of about three months.
     
  20. CaliforniaCheez

    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    Oh yes everyone who complained must appear before the thought police board and go to diversity re-education camps to get over their oppressive property owning tendencies.

    After all crimminals just have a different moral standard and these complaining people have no right to impose their behavioral standard on the patrons of this facility.

    After all we are all one and must accept the lowest possible human standards of human behavior so that there is no discrimination against anyone. No one must be held accountable for anything in the PC world.

    Now sing Kumbaya hold hands and accept everything the governmental PC thugs tell you to because everything established in society is wrong and oppressive.

    Well Mr. 70's San Francisco Bay Area photograph, that kind of thinking is history.

    Maybe you should consider that the neighbors are environmental activists not wanting litter and raw sewage being dumped and are "thinking globally and acting locally."

    Why can't liberals want higher standards in human behavior and achievement instead of wanting to be losers all the time??
     
  21. digsthepack

    digsthepack Cheesehead

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    Remember the Tropicana (I think that was the name..a very beachy/palm tree type place)? A fight every night! Almost died there for having the audacity to take money from people who challenged me at pool.
     
  22. greenbegas

    greenbegas Cheesehead

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    Racism is not walking up to a black person in GB and asking for an autograph.... That may be naive, but in a predominantly white town, that is acceptable. That happened more in the 80s than now, however. Racism to me is "hate." Walking up to a black man thinking he is a Packer is more of a "stereotype," no hate involved.
     
  23. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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    Yup. That's pretty much what I was saying :)
     
  24. SuperRat

    SuperRat Cheesehead

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    I like how I get attacked for saying that I can understand why race is brought up. Nobody is addressing why other bar owners got chances to clean up their act before getting their licenses revoked and Barnett isn't getting a second chance. I'm not saying it is definately a race thing, just that on the outside it appears that it is possibly race motivated.

    edit- It could also be the case that it is Green Bay trying to send the message that Packer players shouldn't get a free pass, which also wouldn't entirely be right because if other bar owners get more than one chance Packer players should be entitled to the same thing. They should get no more and no less.
     
  25. vegOmatic

    vegOmatic Cheesehead

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    SuperRat, in other forums there are postings that quote from Green Bay's City Council minutes. There are all kinds of problems, including vandalism because of the clientel visiting the establishment.

    I don't think racism is the issue when someone finds their car windows smashed out.
     

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