Bookies Bar & Grille parts ways with co-owner Mark Jerant after controversial comments

Posted at 7:17 AM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 17:29:49-04

Bookies Bar & Grille in Detroit has announced it is parting ways with co-owner Mark Jerant after a controversial firestorm stemming from racially insensitive comments he made on Facebook.

Jay Lambrecht will now be the sole owner of the popular Detroit sports bar. 

“Bookies Bar and Grille has always been a welcoming place for all patrons from Detroit to the suburbs, regardless of race, color or creed,” said Lambrecht in a statement. “To reiterate my comments early this week, I do not condone or agree with the comments made on social media by my former business partner. Those comments go against the culture of inclusion, diversity and respect for my patrons and employees I have worked hard to establish at Bookies Bar and Grille. Thus, I felt it best that Bookies move in a direction that shows our commitment to continue to offer a welcoming environment for all in Detroit.”

Jerant's comments on the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma went viral on social media Monday and put the business in the crosshairs.

The story was first reported by Blac Magazine.

Jerant appeared to blame the victim in the shooting, posting in part:

"Listen to police who have guns pointed at you and don’t get shot. It isn’t hard."

He also wrote, “Get ready for the liberal media frenzy of BS.”

The post spread all day on social media and got the attention of the black community in Detroit. It has since been taken down, but not before Blac Magazine obtained screenshots.

Mark Jerant, the man at the center of all this, released a written statement to us earlier this week. It reads in part:

"I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of the young man that was killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am embarrassed and regret the tone and tenor of my comments."