Colts Linebacker Darius Leonard Speaks About “Scary” Incident at Chipotle

A Chipotle manager threatened to call the police on Leonard and his group of friends

Darius Leonard Chipotle
Darius Leonard of the Indianapolis Colts on the field after a win over the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2019.
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard went on ESPN’s First Take on Friday to discuss a recent incident at Chipotle, in which the manager of the restaurant threatened to call police on him and his group of friends, all of whom are non-white. The reason? The manager said that a white customer accused the group of being “verbally abusive,” according to ESPN.

In the First Take segment, Leonard opened up about what it felt like to be a Black man in this particular American moment and then be threatened with police involvement:

Specifically, Leonard said that he immediately worried about getting home to his family:

When you think about being a Black male now in America, and to hear that they want to involve the police — the first thing that went in my mind was I have a wife and a kid. If the police is involved, you’re thinking you’re not making it home.

The Colts expressed their support for Leonard in a statement, calling for the end of systemic racism in this country.

Leonard had previously explained the incident on his Instagram, calling the white customer’s accusations a lie. In response to the incident, Chipotle CEO and chairman Brian Niccol said that the manager was suspended and that the chain is investigating the situation.

The linebacker called that insufficient, even after speaking to Niccol one-on-one:

Just firing the manager is not gonna do everything. What you need to do is go out and continue to show a diverse community that that’s not who we are. And that’s what I want them to do: I want them to step up and take a step forward into change, instead of just apologizing.

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