Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Spurs’ Patty Mills Addresses Racial Taunts of ‘Confused, Hateful Fan’ in Cleveland

[videowaywire video_id=”88ADA18BEC7F935B”]

Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs moves the ball up court against the Detroit Pistons in the first half of NBA game at Little Caesars Arena on December 30, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan.
Patty Mills

*San Antonio Spurs player Patty Mills on Monday addressed the racial taunts shouted at him during a game Sunday against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

The incident took place with Mills at the line for two free throws. Someone in the stands nearby could be heard on the telecast yelling, “Hey, Jamaica called; they want their bobsledder back. Hey, Mills, Jamaica just called; they want their bobsledder back!” (Watch in the video above.)

The veteran point guard, whose parents are members of indigenous populations in Australia, said it was an example of how “racism still does exist in sports today.”

After a Twitter user posted video of the episode, Mills referred to his heritage on his father’s side as a Torres Strait Islander, saying that he and his “family in the islands of the Torres Strait have experienced racial slurs for decades.” He added, “Hope your efforts will enlighten this confused, hateful fan.”

Cavaliers officials said Monday that they were attempting to identify the fan. Meanwhile, Mills spent some of the day hosting a Black History Month event at the San Antonio Museum of Art, where he offered more thoughts on the taunts.

“I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been called a lot worse,” Mills said (via KSAT). “But it was a small example to shine a little bit of light on the fact that racism still does exist in sports today. 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.”

Mills expressed pride in having become not just “a role model for indigenous Australians” but for “kids, for blacks, Hispanics and minorities throughout San Antonio.” Of the racial taunting, he told KSAT, “It’s being able to educate kids to understand how to properly handle these types of situations, shine light on it, overcome it, take the high road, be proud of who you are and stand strong for who you are.”

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