Chipotle promises investigation after Darius Leonard says he was racially profiled

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The CEO of Chipotle has promised an investigation after Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said he was racially profiled at a restaurant in Florence, South Carolina.

Leonard said on Instagram he and four others, all people of color, were having a meal when the Chipotle manager approached his table with a “terrible attitude” and was “very disrespectful,” telling them that another customer had complained about them. Leonard said he was then kicked out.

“That’s what being black in America is right now,” Leonard said. “Us not even doing anything wrong, going out to eat with your family, just trying to spend a little bit of quality time, and you can’t even enjoying eating anymore.”

After Leonard’s post got attention on social media, Chipotle released a statement from its CEO vowing to take the matter seriously.

“We are currently investigating the incident involving Darius Leonard in Florence, South Carolina,” Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol said. “We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind and we have suspended our manager while we conduct a thorough investigation. I’ve personally reached out to Darius and I’m committed to ensuring the appropriate action is taken once the investigation concludes.”

The 24-year-old Leonard was born and raised in South Carolina. He is a Pro Bowler heading into his third season with the Colts.

48 responses to “Chipotle promises investigation after Darius Leonard says he was racially profiled

  1. He got kicked out of the restaurant for not doing anything wrong???? I need to hear the other side of the story. Nobody gets kicked out of anyplace if they haven’t done anything wrong. Something happened. We need to hear both sides of the story.

  2. I am sure the manager probably had every right to do what he did….Michel Bennett 2.0

  3. I’ve never seen a well-behaved group of people get asked to leave a restaurant unless it was nearing closing time. More so, WTH is this guy doing eating inside Chipotle risking his and his family’s health during this pandemic? The burritos are OK, but they’re not to die for.

  4. No being loud and obnoxious in public and not handing respect for others is always a bad look no matter what race you are

  5. Video?
    What you really ‘can’t even…anymore’ is have any kind of altercation without someone videoing it.

  6. And if he wasn’t a high profile athlete with a following what would Chipotle have done?

  7. Or, they were being loud and obnoxious and were politely asked to tone it down and it turned into an incident.

  8. Now I am not saying that Mr. Leonard isn’t telling what he feels is the true accounting of the events that night. But It truly takes two sides to tell a whole true story. Only after hearing and listening to both parties can we really dig down to the real truth. We need to to wait for the video cross checks and the results of the investigation itself before we all jump on the hate-Chipotle bandwagon.

    With that said, the news media seems so quick to jump at first press-news- releases today and that does nothing to help anyone on either side of these kinds of matters.

    We need to stop deep breath and find a way to work together to be able to get pass racial injustice and implement new reforms in education so people all have the same abilities to learn and earn a living.

    It starts with us all taking a deep breath and not jumping at first release news that can’t be verified as quickly as it can be released. The need for double checking facts today is even more important now in these turbulent times… I wish News media outlets would not fight for click bait type hits and go back to true investigative journalism practices of 2 sources before you release anything … but alas those days are over.. We can only hope that we can find a path to work together to help each other .

  9. If history is a guide it’s a 99.9% chance Darius was being an entitled clown. Can’t even place a simple food order without some sort of problem

  10. Have to think there’s more to the story. I live an hour from Florence and can tell you that while it may be easy to take shots at the south and assume the worst, we are very integrated here and the site of a group of black men eating in a restaurant just doesn’t turn heads. Our population is nearly 50/50 and I have to think if they were asked to leave it’s because they were being loud rather than being black. That kind of thing would get you a reputation real quick in this neck of the woods.

  11. I agree with the above post on waiting for more info, but I will say this. We’ve seen this type of scenario before, high paid athletes acting fool in public places. Possibly, I say Possibly a case of Jerk profiling and not racial profiling!

  12. Darius Leonard is listed as 6-2 230lb and is a 2X Pro Bowler and 2018 Def ROY.
    Need to find out who the manager is that had such a bad disposition. Might need to sign him.

  13. All the usual suspects immediately defend the corporation. What happens when the investigation corroborates his story.

  14. There is certainly surveillance video in the restaurant — how about kicking out the complaining customer.

  15. Lol man many of these comments on here remind me of the comments on Yahoo with all the dismissive comments and people acting like this couldnt have happened.

  16. The Manager has been suspended pending the investigation. I assume they will be fired if Darius Leonard’s version of events are accurate. What will happen to Darius Leonard if the Manager’s version is accurate ? Michael Bennett fabricated a story and there was no penalty what so ever.

  17. We’re all sorry/sad that you were treated poorly Darius.
    Really sad that this is still happening in 2020.

  18. I’ll go with being loud with curse words thrown in every so often. Not acceptable in a public place. At home, go for it.

  19. arcross12042004scorp15 says:

    June 26, 2020 at 9:47 am

    The Manager has been suspended pending the investigation. I assume they will be fired if Darius Leonard’s version of events are accurate. What will happen to Darius Leonard if the Manager’s version is accurate ? Michael Bennett fabricated a story and there was no penalty what so ever.

    ——-
    Well I havent looked into it and I’m not saying it’s right Leonard will have no repercussions if his version isnt correct, suspending the manager seems to be the right move as they are likely suspended with pay pending investigation so as long as they are cleared/did nothing wrong its essentially paid time off although stressful paid time off but on the opposite side if they let the manager continues to work and the manager did do wrong then they leave themselves open to it happening again while they investigate.

  20. Were they kicked out for being extremely loud or cussing, in front of other families and kids, which I’ve seen “all” types of people kicked out of restaurants for the same reason? If that’s the case then they definitely should have been. If for any other reason, then yes of course that’s wrong. Just curious what the full story is.

  21. worstpotusever says:

    June 26, 2020 at 9:27 am

    All the usual suspects immediately defend the corporation. What happens when the investigation corroborates his story.

    ———-
    It really has nothing to do with taking a corporations side it has to do with the story not smelling right to just about everyone so you take the circumstances and situation and you base an opinion on it and when the only side being told is by the individual and it still doesnt seem believable it’s more likely than not he or someone in his party was doing something wrong and/or causing problems for others but rather than realize what was going on he instead played the race card which seems like an excuse.

  22. I guarantee no manager in any establishment would kick out ANY customer willing to purchase their product during the pandemic. Maybe, just maybe it had NOTHING to do with the color of your skin but the content of your character.

  23. Most of these comments are disturbing and evidence of implicit bias. If this happened to JJ Watt, would you be assuming his group was being loud and obnoxious? Would you assume he wasn’t being truthful about what happened? Until proved otherwise, there is no reason to doubt this happened exactly as Leonard said.

  24. Sunday Swami says:

    June 26, 2020 at 10:12 am

    arcross12042004scorp15 says:

    June 26, 2020 at 9:47 am

    The Manager has been suspended pending the investigation. I assume they will be fired if Darius Leonard’s version of events are accurate. What will happen to Darius Leonard if the Manager’s version is accurate ? Michael Bennett fabricated a story and there was no penalty what so ever.

    ——-
    Well I havent looked into it and I’m not saying it’s right Leonard will have no repercussions if his version isnt correct, suspending the manager seems to be the right move as they are likely suspended with pay pending investigation so as long as they are cleared/did nothing wrong its essentially paid time off although stressful paid time off but on the opposite side if they let the manager continues to work and the manager did do wrong then they leave themselves open to it happening again while they investigate
    ——–
    It shows the intellect of some of the readers here when they thumb this down. So let’s say they let the manager work and he was in the wrong and it happens again. Now Chipotle has opened themselves up to a lawsuit they would easily lose as there had already been a complaint made but they neglected to take any action

  25. Sunday Swami says:
    June 26, 2020 at 10:12 am
    arcross12042004scorp15 says:
    June 26, 2020 at 9:47 am
    The Manager has been suspended pending the investigation. I assume they will be fired if Darius Leonard’s version of events are accurate. What will happen to Darius Leonard if the Manager’s version is accurate ? Michael Bennett fabricated a story and there was no penalty what so ever.
    ——-
    Well I havent looked into it and I’m not saying it’s right Leonard will have no repercussions if his version isnt correct, suspending the manager seems to be the right move as they are likely suspended with pay pending investigation so as long as they are cleared/did nothing wrong its essentially paid time off although stressful paid time off but on the opposite side if they let the manager continues to work and the manager did do wrong then they leave themselves open to it happening again while they investigate.
    —————————————————-
    I agree with you about the Manager being suspended pending investigation, No problem there. Hopefully they are being paid and if Leonard’s allegations are true, I hope the Manager is fired. I have been thrown out of restaurants in my time. I can’t think of a time when we were tossed and we weren’t being loud and obnoxious. I think the league needs to take action in cases like the Michael Bennett case ( and any others where false charges are filed) particularly when tensions are already high and they are throwing gas on the fire.

  26. As someone who has eaten in that exact chipotle several times if the manager kicked out people for just being black he would loose about 75% of the customers that eat at that place daily. Something doesnt add up about this.

  27. If this happened to JJ Watt, would you be assuming his group was being loud and obnoxious?
    __________

    Yes.

  28. Wow – a whole lot of assumptions being made. I agree with the comment above, if it was JJ Watt would everyone assume he was “loud and cursing”?

    There are countless videos online of minorities being subjected to racist behavior – being denied restroom keys, being asked to leave for no reason, etc. – from many different establishments (not specifically Chipotle).

    I don’t feel that Chipotle needs to be crucified in the media, but dismissing the claims of racism outright is pretty absurd and narrow-minded. Racism is rampant in our country and in the world. It happens.

    Why is that so hard for people to believe?

  29. Ok I have nothing better to do today let me pick a fight with an NFL linebacker and his friends !!!!!

  30. Lot’s of people on here doubting Darius Leonard’s account. How many of you have seen the video of the black woman taking her son who was dressed in gym shorts, a sport-t shirt and sneakers to the Ouzo Bay restaurant in Baltimore Maryland? She was refused service due to a dress code, her son was not in proper attire. At the same time, she saw and video taped a white family with a son who was wearing gym shorts, a t-shirt and sneakers, both boys had on similar apparel. When the mother asked what the difference was the manager and host stammered and tripped all over themselves trying to justify the unjustifiable. The only difference between the two boys was one was black and one was white. Both the manager and host was allegedly fired for this clear cut act of discrimination. They tried to get out of it but the video made what was happening undeniable. That’s what is called white privilege. Something else that is white privilege..when someone black says an act of racism happened or police brutality happened, A lot of white people want to see physical evidence of the act happening before it is believed, and the black person is automatically assumed to have done something to cause what happened to them…as evidenced by a lot of the comments on this board. If that mother did not have video evidence of the discriminatory practice that the manager did, a lot of white people would have attempted to justify why the black woman and her son was not served, using the so called dress code as an excuse and would have said “Well there’s a dress code, take your son home and put on different clothes as the manager suggested and they would have served you”..just follow the rules”!
    YOU AREN’T LISTENING!!!

  31. If JJ Watt said he wasn’t doing anything wrong & got kicked out of a restaurant, I’d be very skeptical. People don’t get in trouble for behaving themselves

  32. badams says:
    June 26, 2020 at 10:33 am
    Most of these comments are disturbing and evidence of implicit bias. If this happened to JJ Watt, would you be assuming his group was being loud and obnoxious?
    ____________
    Yes.

  33. @harrytootsie says:
    June 26, 2020 at 11:19 am
    Ok I have nothing better to do today let me pick a fight with an NFL linebacker and his friends !!!!!
    =============================================================
    Just like the guy that sucker punched Dallas Goedart, I guess.

  34. If you’re a millionaire, why on earth would you eat at chipotle in the first place? go to crappy restaurant receive crappy service.

  35. Pretty obvious none of you have faced anything like people of color in restaurants. Having to wait much longer than other customers, being seated next to the kitchen or more recent in the news, being told to move because a regular white customer doesn’t want to sit next to you. I don’t know the details of this incident but bias does happen.

  36. Something else that is white privilege..when someone black says an act of racism happened or police brutality happened, A lot of white people want to see physical evidence of the act happening before it is believed, and the black person is automatically assumed to have done something to cause what happened to them…as evidenced by a lot of the comments on this board.
    —————————————————-
    Why should it be taken at face value? The story is ridiculous to begin with and these are very serious accusations. A man’s livelihood is at stake potentially. In a case like this, yes I think most rational people would like to see some shred of evidence of someone being discriminated against before somebody loses their job. That’s not white privilege, it’s just using coming sense and giving someone the benefit of the doubt before rushing to judgement.

  37. Way too many people jumping to conclusions here. Both sides are believable. We have to wait for the evidence to come out. If you think it’s farfetched for a black man to be discriminated against for no reason you haven’t been paying attention these last few weeks. On the other hand it’s not farfetched for a celebrity to get a little imaginative when recounting these stories.

  38. I believe it! Unfortunately, nobody believed George Floyd’s death until they actually saw the video. Some Americans are still in denial.

  39. As a Colts fan, I didn’t want a reason to not like this guy, but here we are! I just think the timing of this all too convenient. Seems like a whole lot more to the story and I find it hard to believe that nobody has any video to back up his claim. In a day and age where literally everything is videotaped the fact that no video has came to light is really suspicious!

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