The Cleveland Cavaliers announced a permanent ban for a fan caught yelling racial taunts at San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills during a February 25 exhibition in Cleveland.
The NBA team announced the ban after identifying the offender, a report says. The fan will be banned from Quicken Loans Arena for a period of one year after which the team said it could review the punishment, ESPN reported. Officials did not publicly identify the fan.
The fan’s taunts were caught on stadium microphones and were reported by Sporting News’ Benyam Kidane. Indeed, even in a badly recorded snippet of the game, the taunt is heard clearly.
@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!” 😳ὢ🙅🏾♀️ #SundayFunday ??? @NBA pic.twitter.com/RvHdu88Gzd
— Zandra Ashley (@thats_Z_Truth) February 25, 2018
“Hey, Jamaican dog. They want their bobsledder back,” the fan is heard yelling. At another point during the Sunday game, the fan is heard yelling, “Hey Mills, Jamaica just called; they want their bobsledder back.”
The 29-year-old Mills was born in Australia to a native Aboriginal Australian mother and a white father.
Mills mentioned the incident in a Sunday Twitter post where he said he is “a proud Islander.”
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
After a notable scholastic basketball career in Australia, the point guard came to America in 2007 to attend Saint Mary’s College of California. He declared for the NBA draft in 2009 and joined the Portland Trail Blazers that season playing there until 2011. He joined the Spurs in 2012 after bouncing around with a few projects in the interim.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.