Ben Simmons responds to claims he lied about being denied entry to casino
Australia’s highest-paid athlete, basketballer Ben Simmons, has responded to claims he lied about being refused entry to Crown Casino in Melbourne due to racial profiling.
The NBA superstar posted a video to Instagram, which has since been deleted, of him and a group of friends claiming to have been turned away by security.
— Nick (@Nick_Battersby4) August 5, 2019
The 23-year-old insinuates it was a result of racial profiling, suggesting the only member of his group who wasn’t “checked” was a white Philadelphia 76ers photographer.
“I find it so crazy that the only guy who doesn’t get checked to go into the casino is this guy,” Simmons says.
“Thank you Crown Casino, damn… Wow! We’ve got a long way to go.”
Macquarie Media Entertainment Editor Peter Ford has been across the case all day, and has even exchanged tweets with Ben Simmons himself.
He says Simmons was wearing camouflage pants, which is against the casino’s dress code, and also refused to show his ID.
My friend who got let in also had camouflage pants on ..
— Ben Simmons (@BenSimmons25) August 5, 2019
Peter Ford tells Ben Fordham there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
“Not everybody’s telling the truth, that’s for sure.
“He would not show his ID, so he was rejected.
“He then later went to another entrance, in which he did show his ID and he was admitted straight away.
“But he hasn’t put any of that out.”
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview
The decision may have cost the casino a pretty penny with Simmons recently signing a new $241-million contract with his NBA team.
The Melbourne-born, Newcastle-raised star recently withdrew from Australia’s highly-anticipated exhibition matches against Team USA later this month, citing his commitments with the Philadelphia 76ers.