Everything's hunky dory for Ray Allen these days. He's gone from being the lone stud on a lousy team to part of an axis powers of superstars for one of sports' most historic franchises. Things are looking up. Unfortunately, as he apparently realized recently, he's still a black athlete in Boston.
Well, New England, anyway. He recounted the tale of working out at a gym in Cromwell, Connecticut, recently off a free pass from a friend ... and then being kicked out of the place by the owner.
Allen had ended his workout and was sitting down having his customary protein shake when he noticed a man he assumed was the owner - Lou Soteriou - having a back-and-forth with employees. The owner requested a word with Allen shortly afterward.
"I got up and walked back there and when I walked around the corner he was standing there waiting for me with this look of disgust on his face like I stole some money from him," Allen said. "I extended my hand to him to say, `How ya doin'. I'm Ray. Nice to meet you.' And he just had his hand on his hip. He didn't even offer to shake my hand. `Did I do something to offend you?' because I wasn't trying to take any money from him. I didn't take any money from him. So he goes on this rant about who gave you a pass to come in here. So I said, `One of your employees gave me the pass. I'm a guest.' "He said, `Why don't you just buy a membership like everybody else? I have a business here to run. I don't give any free handouts. I have a business to run here.' ... He was yelling at me like I was one of his kids or something, but once he said that he walked out the office, just walked away from me. I said, `I'll never come in your gym again.' He was like, `Don't come back.'"
Amusingly, after all this bad press, the owner of the gym chimed in in the comments this morning, saying, "Contrary to your report, Mr. Allen did not extend his hand to me; and I can assure you, as common courtesy, I would of course shake a person's hand if extended to me." Regardless: Welcome to New England, Ray!
Ray Allen Takes Good With The Bad [Hartford Courant]
(UPDATE: We feel obliged to clarify our point here: EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN BOSTON IS RACIST. Sorry, just wanted to make that clear.)