NBA Legend Dominique Wilkins Accuses Atlanta Restaurant of Racism for Denying Service

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - JANUARY 14:  Retired NBA Player, Dominique Wilkins attends Phoenix Suns vs Atlanta Hawks game at State Farm Arena on January 14, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins accused the Atlanta restaurant Le Bilboquet of racism Saturday for denying him entrance.

Wilkins took to Twitter and said the restaurant told him he could not enter because of a dress code violation, despite him wearing designer clothing:

Dominique Wilkins ๐Ÿ€ @DWilkins21

In my many years in the world, Iโ€™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 pic.twitter.com/vh7zuyxH0K

Dominique Wilkins ๐Ÿ€ @DWilkins21

Thatโ€™s exactly what happened. I would have been fine if they said just no tables. But they looked me up and down before that and then said that and to add insult, talked about how my clothes were not appropriate when I was wearing designer casual pants and a shirt

The restaurant provided a statement denying racism, saying its dress code is strictly enforced because of the desire of its patrons.

"We, at Le Bilboquet, do our best to accommodate all of our guests. However, we have received consistent complaints from our patrons regarding other guests' wardrobe choices," the statement read. "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. Though the definition of 'casual' is ever-evolving, we strive to maintain our policy requirements daily, but it isn't a perfect system."

Dress codes in schools, restaurants and other establishments are viewed by many as a form of coded racism and sexism, though they are protected under law. Many of these dress codes seem to target types of clothing that are more regularly associated with Black people.

Critics have also pointed out that restaurants, clubs and other establishments often are more willing to accommodate violations of the dress code for white customers than Black patrons or other people of color.

Le Bilboquet has faced several accusations of racism in its dress code enforcement of late.