SAN ANTONIO – As the Spurs closed out a big road win at Cleveland on Sunday, microphones inside Quicken Loans Arena caught what appeared to be a fan taunting Patty Mills with a racial slur as he shot a pair of free throws.
Several Twitter users noted a man in the stands yelled a derogatory term at Mills that implied he was from Jamaica. Mills is an Indigenous Australian from the Torres Strait Islands.
Video surfaced after the game of the fan’s slur toward Mills. A fan tweeted video of the incident to the Spurs guard, who responded on his Twitter account on Sunday evening.
@KingJames am I the only one who heard this guy in the crowd yell “hey Jamaican dog they want their bobsledder back! Hey @Patty_Mills Jamaica just called, they want their bobsledder back!” 😳😠🙅🏾♀️ #SundayFunday ??? @NBA pic.twitter.com/RvHdu88Gzd— Zandra Ashley (@thats_Z_Truth) February 25, 2018
Thanks @thats_Z_Truth. I am a proud Islander. Like my Jamaican Brothers, me & my family in the islands of the Torres Strait have experienced racial slurs for decades. Hope your efforts will enlighten this confused, hateful fan. #BlackHistoryMonth https://t.co/yH3nKlGv4A— Patrick Mills (@Patty_Mills) February 26, 2018
"Thanks @thats_Z_Truth. I am a proud Islander. Like my Jamaican Brothers, me & my family in the islands of the Torres Strait have experienced racial slurs for decades. Hope your efforts will enlighten this confused, hateful fan. #BlackHistoryMonth￼"
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Mills is one of Australia’s highest profile indigenous athletes. He has been a prominent voice and ambassador for the indigenous culture and its history.
Last summer, Mills was awarded with the 2017 Person of the Year Award by the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC).
The NBA had not issued a statement as of Monday morning.