Saks Fifth Avenue Issues Apology To Washington Wizards General Manager Will Dawkins For Racial Profiling

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Last November the general manager of the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Will Dawkins, was racially profiled at a Saks Fifth Avenue store in Miami. What ensued next was daunting: a security guard accused him of stealing clothing while he was shopping. The security guard, wearing plain clothing, had grabbed him along with another police officer who led him to the back of the store. He was then told they thought he stole clothing and hid it after leaving a Saks location at Brickell City Centre. 

There was video surveillance that revealed Dawkins was mistaken for another man who had stolen clothing that was revealed. Dawkins was then released the same night of the accusation. Because of this egregious mistake, public humiliation, and harsh treatment, Larry Bruce, president of Saks Fifth Avenue himself sent a formal apology to the Washington Wizards general manager. Andscape exclusively published the apology.

In an excerpt, Bruce shared: “I fully acknowledge that a Saks Fifth Avenue security team member, who is no longer with the company, broke protocol by approaching you without identifying himself, falsely accused you of shoplifting, and, with the assistance of Miami PD, wrongfully detained you. This should have never happened. We take full responsibility, as these actions not only violated our security training and policies, but also do not reflect the values of our company.”

Dawkins being profiled at Saks Fifth Avenue isn’t a new occurrence for Black customers in luxury shopping spaces. While his role in the NBA brought the issue to a brighter light, imagine if he wasn’t. We wonder if the issue would have been resolved as quickly or if a formal apology would have been made. Many Black celebrities have experienced microaggressions, colorism, and racial profiling, and yet the cycle seems to continue.

Bruce has also reportedly shared that other security personnel at the Saks Brikell location were retrained by November 10, 2023, and will be retrained “if they don’t adhere to security policies and procedures” according to Andscape.

In an exclusive Andscape interview, Dawkins declared a powerful message. “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,” Dawkins said.

Saks Fifth Avenue has reportedly donated to three charities in Dawkins’ name: the Greater Washington Urban League, Roca in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Miami Coalition to Advance Racial Equity. According to him, the donations are described as “sizable.”

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