Darius Leonard says he was racially outlined, expelled from Chipotle

Indianapolis Colts star linebacker Darius Leonard said he was ejected from Chipotle on Thursday by Florence, South Carolina, because he is black.

The 24-year-old said in an Instragram post that he was eating with “three other black men and one mixed woman” away from most of the rest of the restaurant’s customers when a white customer complained to management that Leonard and his Family were “verbally abusing him” and “talking trash” to him.

Leonard said it was a lie.

He added that the manager approached his table with a “terrible attitude and was” very disrespectful “and finally kicked them out after threatening to call the police.

“That’s being black in the United States right now,” said Leonard. “We don’t even do anything wrong, we go out to eat with your family, we just try to spend some quality time. I can’t even enjoy eating.”

“We’re talking about Black Lives Matter, having a guy look at us and lie and laugh in our faces as we go out, and the manager … basically kicked us out of Chipotle … that’s the white privilege we have” we’re talking about it. There is no black who can sit there and eat peacefully without being racially profiled. We know that if the manager had called the police at that time, we know what would have happened. “

In a statement provided to IndyStar, Brian Niccol, Chipotle President and CEO, said: “We are currently investigating the incident involving Darius Leonard in Florence, South Carolina. We have a zero tolerance policy for any type of discrimination and we have suspended our manager while we conducted a thorough investigation. I personally contacted Darius and I am committed to ensuring that appropriate action is taken once the investigation is completed. “

Leonard added in his Instagram post that incidents like the one he experienced are the reasons people are protesting across the country.

“We are tired of this,” he said. “We’re tired of it. All whites don’t understand what we’ve been through. This is very frustrating. Very frustrating. They don’t feel our damn pain. If everyone sits on our (expletive) shoes for one day, one day. Just walk outside and really feel what we went through, everyone would understand something.

“You will see that the police are killing us. You will see all the injustices we go through. I live it. Day after day. And I am (expletive) tired of it. Yes, I am upset. I am tired of it.”

In support of their linebacker, the Colts released a statement Thursday night.

“Darius’s experience demonstrates the struggle that many African Americans and people of color face every day. It also demonstrates why we need serious action by our government leaders, law enforcement, business, and ordinary Americans to end systemic racism and injustice and continue this important dialogue on how to inspire positive change in our country. “

Follow InsyStar Colts Insider Jim Ayello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @jimayello.