The NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers have indefinitely banned a spectator from their arena for making racist remarks towards Australian basketball star Patty Mills.
Security officials reviewed footage from Sunday’s (local time) game between Mills’ San Antonio Spurts and the Cavaliers, and identified the spectator sitting near the court.
He yelled at Mills while he was shooting free throws in the fourth quarter.
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
While Mills was at the foul line, the spectator was heard on the US TV broadcast twice yelling: “Hey, Jamaica called, they want their bobsledder back.”
Mills was born in Canberra, his father Benny is from the Torres Strait Islands and mother Yvonne is Aboriginal from the Kokatha people in South Australia.
On Mills’ Twitter page he describes himself as “a very proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander” with an Aboriginal mother, Thursday Island father, Naghir Island grandfather and Murray Island grandmother.
The Cavaliers did not disclose the name or any details about the spectator. He is barred from events at the Cavaliers home court, with the team to review the ban after one year.