According to reports from USA Today, Kaylan Colbert said she and her husband made a reservation for a birthday dinner at Umi Sushi, but when they arrived, the staff refused to serve them because her husband was wearing sneakers.
At some point in their conversation, Colbert starts recording the heated discussion, which now has more than 90,000 views on Instagram. Her husband, Steve, who is wearing a pair of white Nike Air Force 1’s, points out to the staff that another patron sitting at the bar is wearing Adidas sneakers as the managers try to move the conversation outside.
“This is pure racism, she has on Adidas,” her husband says in the video.
“I get where you’re coming from,” a staff member responds. “Please we’re all minorities here.”
Following the incident, Colbert told FOX 5 that the couple had been to the same restaurant multiple times during the coronavirus pandemic, saying that her husband had worn sneakers without incident. When the couple and the staff continued the conversation outside, restaurant owner Farshid Arshid got involved just as he was leaving for the day.
Arshid and Colbert’s husband got into a heated debate and, at one point, have to be physically separated by staff.
“He’s going to go to jail tonight,” Arshid says. “I’m not letting Air Force 1s in my establishment.”
Arshid told USA TODAY that he regrets how the situation was handled, but insists it was an “operational, not racial” shortcoming. “We absolutely mishandled it,” Arshid said. “I’m ashamed of that … we should’ve managed the situation much better.” He also said that when a reservation is made, the dress code is communicated in at least three ways: on Open Table, by a staff member when the reservation is confirmed by phone and on a plaque in the restaurant.
The owner went on to say he called Colbert 30 minutes after the incident to apologize and invite them back to the restaurant, claiming he has stayed in contact with the couple since the incident and has tried to find a way to remedy the situation.
Following the situation going public, T.I. took it upon himself to head over to Umi Sushi and talk with the restaurant’s owner about how everything went down. But when he posted a video talking to Arshid and saying he accepted his apology, that rubbed Colbert and her husband the wrong way, because they weren’t even a part of the healing process and were being spoken for.
Eventually, Colbert and her husband did meet with T.I., and she went on to clarify the fact that their problem is with Umi Sushi and the owner, not with Tip.