This retired baseball player built the largest Black-owned McDonald抯 franchise operation. Now he抯 suing the fast-food chain for its 憆acist?policies.

Herb Washington抯 lawsuit comes amid an exodus of Black owners from the world抯 largest franchisor


By Tracy Jan, The Washington Post

Feb. 16, 2021


Herb Washington, a former Oakland Athletics player who built the country抯 largest Black-owned McDonald抯 franchise operation, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the fast-food giant of systemic racial discrimination for its pattern of steering Black owners into restaurants in impoverished neighborhoods that yielded less profit, targeting them with unequal assessments that made it harder to renew their contracts, then pressuring them to sell to White owners.


Washington, 69, owned 27 McDonald抯 restaurants in New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania during his four decades as a franchisee but alleged that the company began a campaign to drive him out in 2017 in retaliation for speaking about the 損redatory, racially biased steering practices?against Black franchisees. Today he owns 14 McDonald抯 restaurants, he said, having been forced to sell seven stores in the last three years alone to White owners.


揗cDonald抯 has targeted me for extinction," Washington said during a Zoom press conference from his home, appearing in a gray suit and black tie before a painting of Muhammad Ali knocking out Sonny Liston. 揑t took every ounce of me to succeed against the incredible and unfair odds that McDonald抯 forced on me.?/p>


Washington said he抯 suing to end McDonald抯 搕wo-tiered system where Black owner operators cannot be as successful as Whites. There is a system for them and one for people who look like me.?He said many Black franchisees left McDonald抯 broke because of that system...