Melbourne‘s Crown Casino has responded to an Instagram video made by Aussie NBA star Ben Simmons, in which he insinuated that he and several mates were refused entry due to their skin colour.
A Crown spokeswoman told PEDESTRIAN.TV:
Crown strenuously rejects reports that it discriminated against a group of visitors last night.
Crowns internal security policy requires our security officers to check identification of those persons they believe to be under the age of 25, this is an enhanced safeguard to ensure that no one under the age of 18 is permitted entry to the Casino Floor as required by Law.
The group subsequently provided identification and were permitted entry.
Crown is an inclusive workplace.
In the now-deleted video, the 23-year-old Philadelphia 76ers star and several friends are seen standing near security in the casino foyer.
I find it so crazy that the only guy who doesn’t get checked to go into the casino is this guy [photographer Alex Subers, who appears to be Caucasian]. I get checked, Mike gets checked and Taj gets checked.
Thank you Crown Casino. Damn, and they didn’t let me in, or him or this guy. Wow, we got a long way to go.
Simmons denied that the dispute was over an ID check, and also posted an update on Twitter later this afternoon, saying “my friends and I felt personally singled out”, and explaining he was “very passionate about equality”:
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