LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — When the San Diego Chargers officially moved to Los Angeles, the difficult part was supposed to be leaving a city the team called home for several decades, not the 120-mile relocation north.
However, for some players, finding a home in L.A. has been more difficult than leaving San Diego. Brandon Mebane says he and other African-American players had trouble finding a landlord who would rent to them as training camp approached at their new facility in Costa Mesa.
According to the Chargers defensive lineman, he and several black players were denied rental applications despite having all the credentials.
Mebane says on his website that he and his wife were denied despite having a great credit score, references and obviously a high-paying NFL salary. The Mebanes found a place in Irvine near a park they thought would be nice for their son and daughter, but even with a $13.5 million three-year contract and stellar application, the landlord said no. Mebane says the denial was about race.
“We weren’t welcome in that neighborhood,” Mebane said.
According to Mebane, another black teammate called about a place and was told pets were allowed. When he showed up, they suddenly weren’t accepting pets.
Another player said his search for housing got so desperate he offered a year’s rent in advance in Newport Beach and was still shot down with no explanation.
Mebane and his family eventually did sign a lease on a place in the L.A. area.
“Thankfully, we found a place! And I even got a little extra space for a ‘man corner,’ ” Mebane wrote.