Leonard, who spoke about what happened in an Instagram video on Thursday, said he was having dinner with family and friends, not all white, at a Chipotle in Florence, South Carolina, when a manager ordered them to leave, claiming that a white client claimed they were verbally abusive.
The client’s allegation was a lie, said Leonard.
“That’s what it is to be black in America right now,” said Leonard in the video. “We don’t even do anything wrong, go out to eat with your family, just try to spend some quality time.” You can’t even enjoy eating anymore. ”
Leonard said the director had a “terrible attitude” and quit his party after threatening to call the police. He told First Take that the manager’s behavior had changed after finding out the linebacker, but it was also disheartening.
“It sucks that you have to be someone in the public eye they are looking for to be treated equally,” said Leonard. “Besides me playing football or whatever, I am a human being. I want to be treated like everyone else. ”
Chipotle CEO and President Brian Niccol said in a statement to the Indianapolis Star that the manager had been suspended while the restaurant was investigating the incident, adding that the chain had a “zero tolerance policy for any form of discrimination ”.
“I have personally contacted Darius and I am determined to ensure that appropriate action is taken after the investigation is complete,” said Niccol.
The Colts also released a statement to show their support for Leonard.
“Darius’ experience demonstrates the struggle that so many black Americans and people of color face every day,” said the team. “It also shows why we need serious action from our heads of government, law enforcement, business and ordinary Americans to end systemic racism and injustice and to continue this important dialogue on how to inspire positive change in our country. “