Maybe they didn't know who he was. OK, fine.
And if he goes to the next bar, so the fuck what? You have not aided in Josh Hamilton relapsing.
Maybe I'm a bleeding heart cunt for caring about people I don't know personally, but there is no fucking way in hell I would feel good about myself after aiding in a man's relapse because he offered me a $5 tip. I treasure not trying to make the world a worse place. There are people who are hell-bent to be self-destructive no matter what, but damned if I am going to aid them in it just because my life is so shitty that I am filled by nothing but apathy.
Get off your high horse, you sound like an 18-year-old in his first ethics class.
It has nothing to do with being a bleeding heart or apathetic, the fact is this if Josh Hamilton wants a drink Josh Hamilton is going to get a drink. So you don't serve JH, guess what JH makes a stink goes to your manager and says, "I want a drink but that douche of a bartender won't give me one." Your boss comes over says, "Give him a drink or you're fired." He wants to save his job because maybe he has kids and a wife and a mortgage and bills (something that you know, only apathetic right-wingers have), needs this job and he doesn't want to deal with his boss who will scream bloody murder because you shut off one of the most popular athletes in Texas thus robbing him of a nice night's pay. You probably wouldn't give him a drink and that's fine, whatever, but guess what you're shitcanned and JH got his beer.
A bartender has two jobs:
1. Make sure that he provides adults with libations
2. Make sure that he doesn't give too much so that said person doesn't fuck himself up and sues either him or his place of employment
It's not to play Dr. Phil to every person who comes into his bar and wants a beer or two. Bars would be pretty lonely places if they only served beers to folks without problems.
But let's say everyone lives in Dr. Bonguer's Candyland where everything is sweet and nice and folks watch out for one another, guess what Josh Hamilton is going to get himself a drink. He just is. So whether you're the schmoe who gives it to him or not, is inconsequential. What it really boils down to is that you don't want to be the bad guy and you guise it in the warm wooliness of "treasure[ing] not trying to make the world a worse place." When really all you want to do is push the guy along and then cluck your tongue at the person who gives him what he wants.