Thomas, who is also a motivational speaker, author, and philanthropist, elaborated on Facebook where he said he asked the woman “very politely” and in a softened voice “as not to frighten her” given his 6-foot-10 frame if someone was sitting in the seat beside her. According to the post, she told him someone was sitting there.
“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,” Thomas writes. “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?”
According to Thomas, the woman brushed him off and told him not to “pull the race card stuff” because she dated a black man in college. When Thomas next told her he was going to take a photo and post it on social media, the woman threatened to tell the conductor. But when the conductor came by, he was more focused on Thomas and the woman didn’t alert him of their issue.
” So the conductor came up and said hey Etan Thomas love what you’re doing in the community loved you with the Wizards big [Syracuse] fan man the Knicks sure could use you,” Thomas recalls. “And I said was there something you wanted to tell my man ? And she rolled her eyes smh some ppl I tell ya.”
Thomas retired from the NBA in 2011 after spending the bulk of his career playing for the Washington Wizards. He has been outspoken about many social causes and world events, including Hurricane Katrina and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.