Olympic champion Riner alleges racism at Paris bar
PARIS (AP) — The Buddha Bar has fired a waitress for improper behavior toward Olympic champion judoka Teddy Riner, who lashed out about alleged racism at the upscale Paris bar-restaurant.
On Facebook, the 24-year-old London Games gold medalist described how he had momentarily left his table one evening to get a better look at a Brazilian-themed show, and a waitress asked for his credit card and grabbed his arm “firmly.”
Riner suggested other patrons didn’t receive similar treatment because they were white, writing: “Never go to Buddha-bar if you’re BLACK!!!!”
Buddha Bar spokesman Laurent Guyot denied any racist motive. He said Sunday the waitress didn’t recognize Riner and was fired for having grabbed his arm inappropriately. Guyot said staffers ask for credit cards in such cases because some customers leave without paying.