Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins tweeted out on Saturday that he was denied service to Le Bilboquet Atlanta — part of a chain of French bistros — due to his race, but the restaurant said that Wilkins’ outfit didn’t comply with its dress code.
Wilkins said it was the first time that he received this kind of treatment from a restaurant.
“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.
Le Bilboquet responded to Wilkins’ claim with a statement saying that its dress code required a minimum of business casual attire. However, Wilkins said that his attire had been “designer casual pants and a shirt.”
“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,” the restaurant said in a statement. “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.”
Wilkins is the Hawks vice president and special adviser to the CEO, and he works as a color commentator for Bally Sports Southeast. A nine-time All-Star and two-time dunk contest champion, Wilkins is the third player to have his number retired by the Hawks.
Wilkins was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.