Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins says he was turned away from Atlanta restaurant because of his race

·Writer
·3 min read

There are very few Atlanta bars where Dominique Wilkins has to pay for a drink, but there's apparently a restaurant in the city that will turn him away.

The Atlanta Hawks legend tweeted Saturday that Le Bilboquet Atlanta, part of a chain of swank French bistros, had turned him away. He claimed they did so because of his race, the first time he has apparently ever encountered such treatment:

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Wilkins' tweet:

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

In a subsequent tweet, Wilkins said he was told the restaurant had no tables when he arrived, then said he wasn't dressed fashionably enough.

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When contacted by the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Wilkins' accusation, the restaurant reportedly responded with a statement pointing to its dress code requiring a minimum of business casual attire:

“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 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.”

Wilkins essentially confirmed that was the case in a subsequent tweet. He responded to one follower who linked to a story about the restaurant strictly enforcing its dress code in a way that could be interpreted as racist, saying that the restaurant staff told him his clothes were not appropriate.

Wilkins said his attire had been "designer casual pants and a shirt."

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Wilkins currently works for the Hawks as a vice president and special adviser to the CEO, as well as a color commentator for Bally Sports Southeast. He remains one of the best players in the city's history, a nine-time All-Star, two-time dunk contest champion, one-time scoring champion and the third player to have his number retired by the team.

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

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