Black mother speaks out after son, 9, denied entry at Baltimore restaurant for ‘athletic’ gear

The restaurant manager said that there was a policy prohibiting 'athletic wear,' however, it was only being enforced with the woman's Black child

Marcia Grant's son is shown in an Instagram screenshot. (Credit: Instagram/ @marcia_grant_____the_realtor)

A Black mother was denied entry into a Baltimore restaurant because her son was wearing a Jordan top and some sport shorts.

The establishment’s manager said that there was a policy in place prohibiting “athletic wear,” however, according to the woman’s video, it was only being enforced with her child.

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Marcia Grant wanted to take her 9-year-old son, Dallas, to Ouzo Bay in the city’s Harbor East area of Baltimore. However, instead of having a good meal, he was treated to a discriminatory scenario as seen in the video posted on Monday. He was denied a seat to have lunch at the restaurant because of what he had on, despite the hosts seating several white children with similar outfits.

Dallas was wearing an Air Jordan T-shirt, basketball shorts, and sneakers. His attire was typical for a kid, and Grant took objection with the manager, introducing the only difference between one child and the next — race. The manager was steadfast, consistently pointing to the police.

While the manager didn’t see anything wrong about his actions, Ouzo Bay’s parent company, the Atlas Restaurant Group did.

In a statement released on social media, they acknowledged that race was involved and that as an organization they are appalled. The statement on Twitter reads: “Today, we learned of an incredibly disturbing incident that occurred at one of our restaurants in Baltimore, Ouzo Bay. We sincerely apologize to Marcia Grant, her son & everyone impacted by this painful incident. This situation does not represent who or what Atlas stands for.”

They also noted that it was clear from the video that Dallas and the other child were “dressed similarly,” yet Grant’s son was being harassed because of his race.

“This should never have happened, the manager seen in the video has been placed on indefinite leave. We are sickened by this incident,” the statement concluded.

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In response to the incident and Grant’s advocacy for her child, the company will revise their dress code— adjusting it to state that “children 12 years old and younger, who are accompanied by an adult, will not be subject to a dress code at any Atlas property.”

Employees will also receive additional diversity and inclusion training.