Chris Evans, the father of two teenage sons, is speaking out after paying $2,000 last month to rent Summitt Waves in Lee's Summitt, Missouri for a large birthday party on Saturday (August 6) only to be denied entry to the water park on the day of the bash.
A video showing police officers and water park officials standing at the Summitt Waves gate to stop a large group of mostly Black party attendees from entering has been widely circulated on social media and garnered nearly 2 million views.
In the video, Evans asks park employees if the group makes them uncomfortable.
"Because we're Black!" another person in the group can be heard shouting multiple times.
In response to the group, a female park official shook her head and said "no," per the video.
On Monday (August 8), Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation said it canceled the teen's party rental Saturday because it “became aware of social media posts advertising the event.”
“This raised serious concerns about the safety of party guests and the possibility the event would grow beyond the capacity of staff,” Summit Waves administrator Joe Snook said in a statement. “After multiple attempts to reach the renter in advance of the event to discuss safety concerns, a connection was not made until the hours leading up to the event.”
“At that point, the only recourse was to cancel the event. Despite the cancellation, approximately 500 teens arrived in the Summit Waves parking lot,” the statement continued. “Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation is committed to ensuring the safety of all patrons and will continue to work with the renter."
The Evans family has brought on attorney Ivan Nugent to combat what they believe was an instance of racial profiling and discrimination.
The water park denied a group of Black teenagers from entering “for no apparent reason than the color of their skin,” Evans said in a statement.