A sushi restaurant in Atlanta is being accused of racism after kicking out a Black man and his wife for wearing white sneakers. On Wednesday (October 28), a video posted to social media shows attorney Kaylan Colbert and her husband being asked to leave Umi Sushi in Buckhead for wearing all-white Nike Air Force Ones.
Confused, the man pointed out that other people including a white woman at the bar, were also wearing sneakers. Kaylan Colbert, spoke with Fox 5 Atlanta, and said she and her husband were celebrating her birthday and were already seated when they were asked to leave.
"As we were walking out though my husband noticed a woman at the bar had on tennis shoes and that’s when everything had gone out the window at that point, because there are no rules here for some people, only for others," Colbert said, adding she was the one who filmed the incident. "If you’re going to have rules, they should apply to everyone and not just some people."
As the encounter moved outside, the conversation escalated as the man demanded answers as to why he was being kicked out. They also went back and forth as the restaurant’s owner Farshid Arshid entered the conversation and further antagonized the couple.
Colbert posted on Instagram that Arshid called her husband a “zero” and complained that he didn’t know why they let “these people” in Buckhead.
Arshid told USA TODAY that he regrets how the incident was handled but that it was an "operational, not racial" failing.
"We absolutely mishandled it," Arshid said. "I’m ashamed of that ... we should’ve managed the situation much better."
Colbert said her husband has worn gym shoes to Umi in the past without incident.
Management has reportedly reached out to the couple, however Colbert isn’t guaranteeing they will return to the restaurant. "We’ve seen this on the news over and over lately. Nobody wants to feel that way. Nobody wants to feel like they can’t go to certain places," she said.
USA Today reports that Arshid said he’s reached out to the couple to apologize.
Colbert said in an Instagram post that she has not accepted his apology.