Cordish executive responds to allegations of discrimination at F - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Cordish executive responds to allegations of discrimination at Fourth Street Live

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We asked Cordish Chief Operating Officer Zed Smith flew to town Wednesday specifically to address the report. We asked Cordish Chief Operating Officer Zed Smith flew to town Wednesday specifically to address the report.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A report claims Fourth Street Live has discriminated against African-Americans for years. The document includes accusations from visitors and former employees alike but the COO of the company that operates the entertainment district denies any such instances have taken place.

The report, from an independent New York company, uses an example of an alleged conversation between a former Fourth Street Live employee and current Cordish executive Jake Miller.

Click HERE to read the full report. (WARNING: Report includes graphic language.)

Louisville activist Jerald Muhammad spoke of it as he criticized Cordish and recurring stories of discrimination against black people.

"Where one of the Cordish CEOs said that he would burn down one of his establishments if he ever say this many 'N's' in his nightclub ever again," Muhammad said.

We asked Cordish Chief Operating Officer Zed Smith specifically about the allegations made in Louisville. He flew to town Wednesday specifically to address the report. When Smith was asked if he had discussed the allegations with Jake Miller, he said he had not.

“This report was bogus and it's been leaked into the public here and I think you really have to dig into the motives of this report,” Smith said.

A separate report released by Cordish from the Black Clergy of Philadelphia praises the company's civil rights track record. However, Smith refused to explain how the company investigated the allegations on their own.

“I will not go into that,” Smith said when he was asked how the company does its own investigations.

Jerald Muhammad says local civil rights groups have established relationships with Fourth Street Live.

“The NAACP locally has a relationship with Fourth Street Live,” Muhammad said, “There's a group called Friends of Fourth Street, the Louisville Urban League has a financial relationship with 4th Street Live, One Hundred Black Men here in Louisville have a relationship with Fourth Street Live."

Smith repeated over and over again in a press conference Wednesday that because these were only allegations, he would not address them specifically. When asked why allegations of discrimination have cropped up in multiple places, he said this:

“If we go back to the history of this,” Smith said, “we started a dress code and that’s when all of this started.”

More: The Cordish Companies under fire after new reports of racial discrimination

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