Chipotle has issued an apology and placed a South Carolina store manager on leave after Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard claimed he was racially profiled and kicked out of the restaurant for having a private discussion about Black Lives Matter with his family.
Leonard alleged on Instagram that a white customer complained to the restaurant’s manager, who then kicked him and his party out based strictly on the man’s accusation.
“Toward the end of our meal, the manager come up … with a terrible attitude, asking us do we have a problem,” Leonard said. … “He’s saying that a white guy said we was verbally abusing him, talking trash to him.
“It was basically a lie. We basically got kicked out of Chipotle because of that. They said that they wanted to call the police on us. That’s what being Black in America is right now.”
“We’re talking about Black Lives Matter, and for the guy to look at us and lie and laugh in our face as we walk out, and the manger … come up here and just basically kick us out of Chipotle,” Leonard continued.
“And, we felt like he was very disrespectful and that’s the white privilege that we are talking about. There’s no Black guy that can sit there and eat peacefully without being racially profiled. We know that if that manager would have called the cops right then and there, we know what would have went down.”
WIBC host Tony Katz offered perspective on the incident Friday morning:
“Darius Leonard says a customer complained about him being abusive and that the claim was ‘basically a lie.’ It’s either a lie or it’s not a lie. There’s no gray area in this.
“This whole thing is too weird for words, but my question is this: Does any of this make sense to anyone? If you were to make the claim that this kind of thing happens to black people in America every day, it’s so crazy that you would see stories about this occurring in Chipotle restaurants and other establishments constantly.
“The perception conversation versus the data conversation is a worthwhile conversation to have. For what reason would I assume that Darius Leonard is lying about this? I don’t assume that at all. But it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. You’re Darius Leonard – not a small dude. You’re there with friends. And there’s a guy yelling at you who just decides to claim without provocation ‘these people verbally abused me?’
“What happened? What are the details of the story? Are you telling me there’s not a video of this incident in a world where there is video of everything?
“I’m not accusing Darius Leonard of lying; I’m saying this is the weirdest story I’ve heard in a long time. There’s a very interesting case study there if we can get to the facts of what occurred.”
Click below to hear more from Tony Katz: