John Amaechi

Openly gay former basketball star John Amaechi says that he was refused entry into a Manchester gay bar last Friday because of his skin colour.

The 2.1m, 39 year old has claimed that a bouncer at Crunch in the British city’s gay village told him that he was “big, black and could be trouble”.

American-born Amaechi said that he may pursue legal action against the bar and has written to the management of Crunch asking for an explanation.

“I want an explanation of what happened – a real true explanation – and an apology, and they have not in any way been forthcoming with that,” he told the BBC.

“I’m going to pursue this through all the channels I have because when there are issues of bigotry we should pursue them very strongly,” he added.

The bar denied the claims of racism and said that Amaechi was refused entry because the group he was with matched a description received by the bar that evening of a group that was being “argumentative and aggressive” at another venue.

Amaechi became the first openly gay athlete to have played in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA) when he came out in his memoir, Man in the Middle, in 2007.

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