Teddy Riner alleged racism at The Buddha Bar, a chic Paris establishment located on the well known Faubourg St Honore, and the resulting disturbance got a waitress fired Saturday. The Olympic gold medalist Judo champion said on his Facebook page that he and his brother were treated differently than the white patrons at the bar.
Riner alleged racism took place at the upscale restaurant when he and his brother left their table momentarily to take a closer look at a show that had started. However, he and his brother were treated with hostility by the waitress, who may have assumed the pair was attempting to leave without paying the bill.
After they had finished dinner, "a Brazilian show started," Riner wrote on his Facebook page, and he noticed people leaving their seats to "take pictures," so he and his brother followed.
Only a minute later, he said they were confronted.
"A waitress grabs my brother to tell him to leave his [credit card] or a piece of identification," he posted on the social media website in French. Although his brother tried to explain that they were watching the show and would be back shortly, "she insists [on] asking him [for] his credit card," then grabbed Riner's arm firmly as she questioned him.
"Why [were] other people who were on the staircase" not treated similarly? he asked. "Namely (they were white)."
Despite the alleged prejudice, Riner and his brother made no further attempts to argue.
"We paid [for] what we consumed … then we went without a fuss," he concluded.
Although he apparently made no attempts to speak to management about the situation, they may have gotten wind of what happened via social media websites. Most of Riner's posts garner tens of shares and maybe 100 comments- this one saw nearly 1,000 shares and almost 2,000 comments.
Laurent Guyot, spokesman for the Buddha Bar, told the Associated Press Sunday that neither the waitress nor the establishment had any racist motives, but that the waitress did not recognize the Olympian Judoka gold medalist. She was fired for grabbing his arm, however.
"Never go to the Buddha-bar if you are black!" Riner wrote.