A bar in Sarasota, Fla., said it would no longer enforce a “no-hats” policy after a man claimed he was discriminated against for wearing one of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Gov. Ron DeSantis more popular in Florida than Trump Sotomayor accuses Supreme Court of bias in favor of Trump administration MORE’s “Make America Great Again” hats, the Herald-Tribune reported Thursday.

Jim Beck, the owner of the Bahi Hut, said his employees were simply enforcing a ban on hats in the the bar earlier this week when customer Mark Marlow was asked to leave.


“I don’t know what to make of it, what to do,” Beck said. “The policy’s written right there. It’s engraved in wood paneling. I can’t beat them up for following the policy.”

Marlow, however, said he was never told of the policy. He told the newspaper that he believes he was asked to leave and not served because he supports the president.

Marlow and his girlfriend, Gina Martin, said that the employee never referenced the no-hat policy when they were being asked to leave. Police were called during the incident, the newspaper noted. 

The couple claims another customer in the bar was wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers hat and was not confronted by staff.

The newspaper noted that several pictures on Instagram show people inside the bar wearing hats.

“If they had told me there was a policy against hats I would have followed the rules,” Marlow said. “That option was never given to me. It was we will not serve you; you need to leave.”

Marlow contacted Florida state Sen. Joe Gruters (R), who criticized the bar on Facebook.

“As a community, we should reject these type of actions, as it will lead to more division and hostility on both sides,” Gruters wrote.

Beck apologized and reversed the previous policy against hats, the newspaper noted.

In a note to employees, management said the incident “causes a reconsideration of the hat policy in a new and evolving environment.”

“The recent unfortunate incident involving the MAGA hat requires that management clearly and succinctly reiterate our long established policy of non discrimination,” the note reads. “The company and its establishments do not discriminate for race, color, religion or political affiliation.”

The “MAGA” hat, a symbol of Trump’s campaign, has been at the center of a number of controversies since his 2016 election.

A school bus aide in Martin County, Fla., earlier this month was suspended without pay for four days after surveillance video captured her swiping one of Trump’s hats off a student’s head. 

A New Jersey teen was arrested and charged in February with attacking an 81-year-old man for wearing a "MAGA" hat.