Ex-Hawks star Dominique Wilkins says he was rejected from Bilboquet in Atlanta as he's black but restaurant disagrees

FORMER Atlanta Hawks player Dominique Wilkins has claimed that he was rejected from Le Bilboquet in Atlanta because he is black, but the restaurant has blamed their casual clothes ban.

The NBA legend tweeted his reaction to being turned away from the eatery in Georgia on Saturday, claiming that he was discriminated against and "sized up" by staff.

The tweet read "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 [Le Bilboquet]."

Wilkins also used the hashtag #turnedawaybecauseimblack.

He spoke with CBS46's Melissa Stern about the experience.

"We went there to have lunch, and I was dressed very sporty, casual, I had a nice pair of casual pants on with a stripe, nice red shirts, and sneakers on.

"As I’m walking in, I notice right away, that they’re sizing me up, they’re looking me up before I even said a word."

Wilkins reported that a woman working at the restaurant told him "and plus, you have sweatpants on, and we’re trying to keep a level of elegance."

He said: "During this time, I’m seeing people walk up in shorts, sneakers, and shirts on."

A black woman appeared to have had a similar experience at Le Bilboquet three days prior to Wilkins, reports say.

General Manager Mark Hoefer claimed that racism did not play a factor in the decision to turn Wilkins away, however.

"He was turned away because he was not in compliance with our dress code, it has nothing to do with the color of his skin," he said.

"He was in track pants, and we were being consistent with our policy.

"If we would have let him because of his celebrity status, we would have been discriminatory toward everyone we’ve turned away, based on that same policy."

Hoefer said he wants the restaurant to be held responsible and employees to be further educated to avoid incidents like this in the future.

Wilkins told Stern that he does not plan to patron the restaurant again and is waiting on a public apology.

The Sun reached out to Le Bilboquet on Monday for a comment, but they have not responded.

Wilkins spoke out about experiencing racism in his past saying "I know racism, I grew up with it, I’ve had a cross burning in my yard when I was in high school."

He wrote a follow up tweet responding to fans' reactions to the story saying "Truly appreciate all your love and support."

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