Gavin McInnes, Proud Boys founder, sued the Southern Poverty Law Center, according to The Daily Beast. He claimed that the civil rights organization cost him business opportunities by calling his pro-Trump men’s group a hate group.
According to McInnes, the SPLC’s designation of his group caused him to be kicked off of PayPal, Facebook, and Twitter, and it has even caused his neighbors to criticize him.
“Mr. McInnes is essentially an untouchable, unable to retain or be considered for gainful employment in his line of work,” the lawsuit claims.
McInnes will sue the SPLC for defamation and tortious interference with economic advantage. He also wants the SPLC to be stopped with a court order, which will also stop SPLC employees from referring to him as a person connected to a hate group.
The Proud Boys was created in 2016 as a club for “Western chauvinists.” The club had rules ranging from what its members could wear to how often they could masturbate. The Proud Boys have clashed with left-wing protestors and even served as bodyguards to the recently arrested Roger Stone, an advisor to Trump.
In November, Mcinnes announced that he was leaving the Proud Boys.
McInnes alleges that the SPLC “falsely” described the Proud Boys as violent, yet McInnes created a high-level rank for those who were involved in fights. He later clarified that the rank was only applied in cases of self-defense.
Last year, the SPLC faced another lawsuit after listing a British political activist, Maajid Nawaz, as an “anti-Muslim extremist.” The SPLC issued an apology and paid a $3.4 million settlement.