Crown Casino has denied the allegations of the Australian basketball player Ben Simmons who claimed that he was racially profiled by bouncers at the entrance of the casino’s gambling premises.
The 23-year-old basketball superstar shared in his Instagram account that he was suspended from entering the casino after the staff required him to present his ID. In a video, shared with his 4.3 million followers, Simmons suggested that he was denied entrance in the gambling room of the casino because of the colour of his skin. Turning the camera to a friend of his who has a lighter skin tone, the basketball player said this was the only person who did not get checked into the casino.
Then, the Australian basketball superstar, whose father is an African-American, turned the camera to himself and two other friends of his. He explained that both him and the two other individuals, who he called Tys and Mike, got checked.
— Nick (@Nick_Battersby4) August 5, 2019
Currently, the video is not available any more on his Instagram account, as Simmons deleted it from his Instagram story. The basketball player, however, later responded to some claims on Twitter that he was not allowed to enter the Crown Casino gambling premises not because of his skin colour but because he was violating the casino’s dress code as he had been wearing camouflage-patterned pants. Earlier today, Simmons wrote that his friend who actually was allowed to enter the casino and had a fairer skin colour had also been wearing camouflage pants.
Crown Casino Rejects Accusations of Racial Profiling and Says Staff Followed Internal Security Policy
Crown Casino has rejected the accusations that its staff racially profiled Simmons. A spokeswoman for the casino denied that there had been any discrimination against a group of visitors last night and explained that the casino’s security officers are obliged to check the ID of all individuals who are believed to be under the age of 25 under the provisions of Crown Casino’s internal security policy.
The spokeswoman of the Australian casino operator also denied the accusation that the basketball player and his friends were not allowed to enter the venue. She shared that the group provided the required IDs and were subsequently given entry permission.
As you know an incident happened last night at Crown and my friends and I felt personally singled out, no one likes to feel like this. I am very passionate about equality and I will always speak up even if it means having uncomfortable conversations.
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) August 6, 2019
Like other countries across the globe, Australia has a history of struggling with racism, but this has not been the case, according to the Crown Casino spokeswoman. As the ABC News reported, the media outlet contacted the management of the casino venue earlier today and the only response it got was that the incident is being investigated.
Currently, the 23-year-old Ben Simmons is considered the highest-paid athlete in Australia, following reports of signing an AU$242-million contract with his NBA team Philadelphia 76ers.