SAN ANTONIO – The Cleveland Cavaliers have identified the fan who was heard taunting Spurs guard Patty Mills with a racial slur during the nationally televised game on Sunday, banning him from Quicken Loans Arena indefinitely.
According to ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin, a Cavs spokesperson informed him on Tuesday that the organization has banned the person indefinitely from the arena “with a review to come after a period of one year.”
The Cavs have identified the person who heckled Patty Mills, according to a Cavs spokesman. He has been banned from Quicken Loans Arena indefinitely, with a review to come after a period of one year.— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 27, 2018
ORIGINAL STORY: Fan yells racial slur, taunts Patty Mills during Spurs-Cavs game
The news comes one day after Mills spoke to local media while hosting a Black History Month event for children at the San Antonio Museum Art.
"I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been called a lot worse,” Mills said. “But It was a small example to shine a little bit of light on the fact that racism still does exist in sports today and we as a whole can do a lot more to be in a situation like this today, and help educate the kids to be able to be proud of who they are and where they come from and have the feeling inside to be able to express all of that.”
In a video shared to Twitter by an NBA fan, audio from Sunday’s broadcast captured the now banned fan yelling, “Hey, Jamaican dog, they want their bobsledder back. Jamaica just called, they want their bobsledder back.”
@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
The racial slur was heard while Mills was at the line shooting a pair of free throws during the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Hours after the game, Mills quote tweeted the user who shared the video saying, “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”
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
Spurs forward Kyle Anderson who was standing next to Mills at that time said he heard and saw the fan who yelled the racial slur towards his teammate.
“Smh. I was standing at the free throw line and didn’t hear, "Hey Jamaican dog" - (now I do) but I did catch the second slur. Smh I looked at (the) dude in disgust. He was sitting right under the basket first-row smh what a shame,” Anderson said in a tweet.
Smh i was standing at the free throw line and didnt hear "hey jamaican dog" (now i do) but i did catch the second slur smh i looked at dude in disgust. He was sitting right under the basket first row smh what a shame 🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/Wvg2eBc1T4— SLOWMO (@KyleAnderson5) February 26, 2018
Mills said he would not let the slur deter him from being a role model for Indigenous Australians, children across San Antonio and around the world.
"For me, it’s being able to educate kids to understand how to properly handle these types of situations, shine a light on it, overcome it, take the high road, be proud of who you are and stand strong for who you are,” Mills said.