Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Monday, December 06, 2004

Even the Mascot Sues

Viliami Fehoko, better known as Vili the Warrior, the mascot for the University of Hawaii Warriors (formerly the Rainbow) is alleging discrimination against his former employer, the Polynesian Cultural Center. He is Tongan and they prefer Samoans according to the story in the Pacific Business News. Vili is one of the best recognized figures in Hawaii:

dressed as a snarling "warrior," his face painted black and green, Fehoko charges along the sidelines of football games and men's volleyball matches, cheering on UH and snarling at opponents. A year ago, he grabbed headlines for antics at a UH football game that included taunting opposing players, throwing a bracelet at a cheerleader and putting wrestling moves on the other team's mascot. While some suggested that the character of Vili be retired, support from fans and coach June Jones.

For more on his run in with Big Al, the elephant mascot of the University of Alabama and other issues Vili has had (complete with pictures of Vili) check the story from Honolulu Star-Bulltin earlier this year. According to the lawsuit his termination at the popular tourist center followed a run-in a week earlier with a "guest" of the center who had snatched a ukulele Fehoko was playing.

Given his apparent "anger management" issues, probably not a good time to apply for an NBA position.

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