Saks Fifth Avenue Apologizes To NBA GM For Racial Profiling

Tony retail store Saks Fifth Avenue has apologized to the Washington Wizards general manager Will Dawkins for a racial profiling incident that happened in 2023.

The luxury department store sent a formal apology to the NBA GM after security guards accused him of stealing clothing from its Miami location. According to Andscape, a Brickell City Centre security guard and a Miami Police Officer followed and detained Dawkins for the mistaken crime on Nov. 2. However, surveillance video from the previous night showed that they had misidentified him as the culprit.

Larry Bruce, president of SFA, the entity that operates Saks Fifth Avenue’s store fleet, shared the letter sent to Dawkins on LinkedIn. In the apology, he took accountability for the store’s actions and stated the termination of the security guard involved.

“I recently sent the letter below on behalf of Saks Fifth Avenue stores to apologize to Will Dawkins, the General Manager of the Washington Wizards, as well as to thank him for the way he has worked with us to create a positive outcome from the terrible experience he had in our Brickell store,” wrote Bruce on June 15. “There was a violation of our policies that never should have happened. It is an important reminder to our entire organization that we must continually work to ensure that every guest that comes through our doors is welcomed and treated with respect.”

Bruce also shared that donations were made to racial justice organizations on behalf of Dawkins in Massachusetts, Miami, and Greater Washington.

Dawkins hopes that despite his negative experience, the outcome will lead to better sensitivity training to prevent future racial profiling.

“My hope is that other stores see this and elect to readjust their policy or personnel and in turn those changes prevent at least one future event like this from happening to someone else,” he explained in an interview with the news outlet. “Once I was able to reshape my thinking, I realized it was all worth it because this didn’t happen to me, it happened for me.”

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