Atlanta Restaurant Apologizes to NBA Legend Dominique Wilkins After Refusing Service

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2021

Atlanta Hawks announcer Dominique Wilkins before an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brett Davis)
AP Photo/Brett Davis

Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins received an apology Tuesday from Le Bilboquet, an upscale restaurant in Atlanta, after he was turned away from the establishment Saturday because of its dress code.

Le Bilboquet said in a statement it's "deeply sorry" for the situation and promised to review its dress code while all employees undergo "diversity, equity and inclusion training":

Le Bilboquet @LeBilboquetAtl


Wilkins alleged Saturday he was turned away because of the "color of my skin":

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

The 51-year-old Hall of Famer, who currently works as the Hawks' vice president of basketball and as a special advisor to CEO Steve Koonin, spoke with WSB-TV about the restaurant's actions.

Wilkins said he was wearing "designer casual clothing" and implied the restaurant's dress code was not applied equally.

"Discrimination has many different disguises, you know. In this case, it's disguised through a dress code," Wilkins said. "I'm just hoping that they learn from this and that they could get some diversity equality and this type of training to guard against this."

Wilkins spent the first 12 NBA seasons with the Hawks after being selected with the third overall pick in the 1982 draft.

He also played for the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic, along with stops in Europe as a member of Panathinaikos and Fortitudo Bologna, prior to his 1999 retirement.

The University of Georgia product was a nine-time All-Star, a two-time Slam Dunk Contest winner and the 1985-86 NBA scoring champion. His No. 21 jersey is retired by the Hawks.