Dominique Wilkins is arguably the greatest player to ever suit up for the Atlanta Hawks. In 12 seasons, Wilkins appeared in eight NBA All-Star Games, landed on seven All-NBA teams and led the league in scoring in 1986. Not to mention, he represented the Hawks as he went toe-to-toe with Michael Jordan in the 1988 NBA Dunk Contest. Given his contributions to the city's sports scenes and local economy, one would think Wilkins never paid for a single meal in Atlanta. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
Over the weekend, Wilkins said that he was denied entrance to a local restaurant called Le Bilboquet. Outraged by what he experienced, the former NBA scoring leader issued a short tweet.
Shortly after the basketball legend issued his tweet, Le Bilboquet issued a statement of their own. Instead of apologizing to Wilkins, the restaurant insinuated that he was denied service because he violated the restaurant's dress code.
"We, at Le Bilboquet, do our best to accommodate all of our guests. However, we have received consistent complaints from our patrons regarding other guest's wardrobe choices. As a result, to protect our restaurant's culture, we installed a minimum standard in our 'business casual' attire dress code which includes jeans and sneakers but prohibits baseball caps and athletic clothing including sweat pants and tops," the restaurant stated.
Former NBA player Rex Chapman was quick to call out the restaurant's statement. Chapman explained that the likelihood that Wilkins was slim to none because the NBA legend rarely, if ever, leaves the house without being well dressed.
After facing intense scrutiny from the Atlanta community and users on Twitter, the restaurant issued a second statement. This time around, the establishment apologized to Wilkins, but it didn't entirely cop to having kicked him out due to his race.
"We never want anyone to feel, in this community, discriminated against because of anything, especially, the color of their skin," the restaurant explained.
"Especially someone who is a pillar of this community like Mr. Wilkins."
On Sunday evening, Wilkins appeared on a local sports show to discuss the matter further. Disappointed by what happened, Wilkins hopes that others in the area don't have to deal with discrimination when going out to eat either.
"Unfortunately, in this world, we still have people who deal with discrimination, which is a disease we haven't found a way to conquer yet," he said.
"And so [it's] very unfortunate, I'm very disappointed that a restaurant in Buckhead would treat anyone that way but let alone myself who - this city, this is my city. And to be treated that way, I was very disappointed."
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