Sky News reports that a former professional baseball player who owns a string of McDonald’s restaurants is suing the fast food giant for racial discrimination.
A civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court by one-time sprinting star Herbert Washington, who played for the Oakland Athletics in the mid-1970s, claims the company has shown more favourable treatment to white franchise holders – and prevented him from buying outlets in more affluent communities.
The 69-year-old argues the firm’s discriminatory practices has led to a $700,000 (£505,000) sales gap between black-owned franchises and those held by white people.
McDonald’s blames Mr Washington’s situation on his “years of mismanagement”.
According to the lawsuit, franchises in poorer areas cost more to operate, have higher employee turnover and are not as profitable.
The court documents said: “By relegating black owners to the oldest stores in the toughest neighbourhoods, McDonald’s ensured that black franchisees would never achieve the levels of success that white franchisees could expect.
“Black franchisees must spend more to operate their stores while white franchisees get to realise the full benefit of their labours.”