Dominique Wilkins said he was proud to have been embraced and loved by the city of Atlanta throughout his professional career and life after playing, but Saturday was probably not one of his moments. favorites in the city.
The Professional Basketball Hall of Fame tweeted Buckhead restaurant La Bibloquet firing him for racism.
“In my many years around the world, I have eaten at some of the greatest restaurants in the world,” Wilkins tweeted, “but I never felt prejudiced or turned away because of the color of my skin. , until today in # atlanta in @LeBilboquetAtl #turnedawaybecauseimblack. “
Wilkins did not drop his claim after the post received thousands of retweets and likes. Responding to skeptical fans questioning the validity of the Hall of Fame claim, he explained that restaurant workers initially told him there were no tables available.
When I got there they said there weren’t any tables then they said I wasn’t dressed fashionably enough. Guess if there weren’t any tables then why the follow up comment?
– Dominique Wilkins (@ DWilkins21) May 22, 2021
He then said the employees told him his attire was not appropriate for the location.
This is exactly what happened. I would have been nice if they just said no tables. But they looked at me up and down before that and then they said that and to add insult, they explained that my clothes were not appropriate when I was wearing casual pants and a shirt.
– Dominique Wilkins (@ DWilkins21) May 23, 2021
“We at Bilboquet are doing our best to accommodate all of our customers,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant who asked not to be identified publicly in a statement sent to Peachtree Hoops. “However, we have received constant complaints from our customers regarding the wardrobe choices of other customers. Therefore, to protect the culture of our restaurant, we have implemented a minimum standard in our “casual” dress code, which includes jeans and sneakers, but prohibits baseball caps and athletic wear, including sweatpants and tops.
The spokesperson also acknowledged the complexity of establishing a “business casual” dress code.
“Although the definition of ‘casual’ is constantly evolving, we strive to maintain our policy demands on a daily basis, but this is not a perfect system,” the statement read.
Wilkins, 61, does not have a long history of publicly speaking out against racism, outside of April 2014. The Hawks’ longtime color analyst spoke up seven years ago after the Donald Sterling-Los Angeles Clippers’ situation. Audio of an alleged conversation between Sterling and his former girlfriend V. Stiviano leaked with Sterling telling Stiviano he didn’t want her to partner with black people or bring them to Clippers games. Four days after the audio leak, NBA commissioner Adam Silver hit Sterling with a fine of up to $ 2.5 million and a lifetime ban from the league.
Wilkins wrote a column for CNN to publicly support Silver’s decision.
“I am not a politician. I am not a legislator, ”reads Wilkins’ column. “I am not an activist. I have the fame. I have praise. I played professional basketball. But all that aside, I’m a man, a black man.
Wilkins later wrote how being catapulted into the public eye as a superstar athlete forced him to look at his lyrics and shape them into politically correct stanzas.
“Again, I’m not an activist,” the column reads. “I have turned down more press inquiries and interviews regarding Sterling’s obnoxious comments in the past two days than I want to count.”
He also wrote how he never experienced racism within the Hawks organization, but experienced it as a black man living in the south. The column does not give any specific example.
Wilkins is expected to continue to be part of the Bally Sports Southeast broadcast squad for the Atlanta Hawks’ NBA First Round Playoff series against the New York Knicks, which begins at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday night.