Bowling alley reviewing dress code after complaints

LANSING (AP) — A Michigan bowling complex is reviewing its dress code after receiving complaints that the policy targets black men.

A sign at Spare Time Entertainment Center in Lansing prohibited excessively baggy pants, hoodies and do-rags, the Lansing State Journal reported. It also bars gang colors and insignia, and clothing with vulgar language or pictures.

The company has removed the signage and is reevaluating its policies, said Spare Time spokeswoman Meredith Assande.

Do-rags and other hats are now acceptable if they don’t impede vision or have gang colors, she said.

Loose or baggy clothing isn’t encouraged because it can be a safety hazard for patrons participating in activities, Assande said. Hoodies are allowed as long as they’re lowered upon entering the facility as a security precaution, she said.

“We want to be able to see our guests’ faces,” Assande said.

The dress code is meant to create a “hospitable and pleasant environment,” Assande said.

The sign was added after the bowling alley saw an increase in fighting, crime and drug use among patrons over the past three months. Police have responded to situations at the bowling complex more than six times.

“These difficult situations are not isolated to one group,” Assande said. “Safety for our families is our number one concern.”

Shaylonna Banks, 40, of Lansing, is black and said she’s glad the complex is reviewing its policies.

The business should aim to create a dress code that promotes safety but doesn't have wording that appears to target a specific type of person, she said.

“You have a clientele that’s unique and diverse,” Banks said. “You don’t want anyone to feel they are not welcome.”