NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins accuses Atlanta restaurant of racism

NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins has accused a restaurant in Atlanta of turning him away due to the colour of his skin.

Wilkins, 61, spent 12 years playing for the Atlanta Hawks between 1982 and 1994, before spells with the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic among other teams. He is currently vice-president of the Hawks.

On Saturday, the French-born American took to Twitter to complain about the way he had been treated by Le Bilboquet, who later apologised but denied that Wilkins had been turned away from the restaurant for the reason he had suggested.

“In my many years in the world, I’ve eaten at some of the greatest restaurants in the world, but never have I felt prejudice or been turned away because of the color of my skin, until today in #atlanta in @LeBilboquetAtl #turnedawaybecauseimblack,” Wilkins wrote on Twitter.

In a statement responding to Wilkins, Le Bilboquet said the nine-time All Star’s attire was the reason he had been refused service.

In a later statement, the restaurant wrote: “We want to apologize to Mr. Wilkins for his experience at our restaurant and also for any confusion our dress code may have caused.

“We in no way intended for him to feel unwanted, and welcome an open dialogue with him. Our upscale dining experience and our brand’s culture is made up of multiple elements, which include our music, our food and our patrons’ attire.

“We continue to strive to manifest our dining experience in a way that is exciting and most importantly, inclusive.”

Wilkins claimed that the restaurant at first told him they had no tables, before mentioning his attire.

“I guess if there were no tables, then why the follow up comment?” Wilkins tweeted.

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