Former NBA Player Shares Story of Racist Amtrak Passenger

In his now viral post, former NBA player Etan Thomas says woman didn't want him to sit next to her on a train because he's black.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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If the option presents itself, almost everyone would want to sit by themselves in a two-seater on the train or bus. But, oftentimes public transit gets packed enough that people need to make exceptions. One woman found herself in that same situation and still couldn't find it in her heart to let an African-American man sit next to her. 

On Friday, former NBA player Etan Thomas, who spent a majority of his career with the Washington Wizards, shared a post on Facebook detailing his experience on a train when he tried to take one of the few remaining open seats next to a white woman. Thomas went as far as to ask her politely and even "soften his voice as to not frighten her," yet she claimed that someone was already occupying the seat. However, as it turns out, when a white male approached her with the same request—surprise, surprise—the seat was now vacant. Considering how clearly disrespectful she was to him, Thomas handled the entire ordeal with class.

The best part, though, came when the woman threatened to get the conductor after the nine-year veteran informed her that he was going to share his experience on social media. 


Ok so I'm getting on the train and there are no open seats and I ask this lady if I could sit next to her (very politely and I soften my voice as to not frighten her) and she says someone is sitting here. So I go to the next seat. Now, less than 2 mins later a man (who happens to be white) asks if he can sit there and she says why sure let me move my stuff. So I have to say something so I ask ummmmm did you just not want ME to sit next to you ? Were you scared ? Not comfortable with a Black Man sitting next to you ? And she says lol smh don't pull the race card stuff with me I dated a Black guy in college. So the guy (who was a nice guy) said listen I'll get up and I said no need I'mma just take this pic and make a Facebook post about it. So then she says did you just take a pic of me ? Well I'm going to tell the conductor that you're over here illegally taking pics of ppl without their consent. So the conductor came up and said hey Etan Thomas love what you're doing in the community loved you with the Wizards big Cuse fan man the Knicks sure could use you .... And I said was there something you wanted to tell my man ? And she rolled her eyes smh some ppl I tell ya

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