A highly ugly event took place during the final few minutes of the San Antonio Spurs win over Cleveland Cavaliers Sunday afternoon when a fan at Quicken Loans Arena shouted racist taunts towards Patty Mills.
While it doesn’t appear anyone on the court heard it at the time, it was caught by a television microphone behind the basket. A team spokesperson for the Cavs said security officials used every resource available to identify the fan, including video monitoring and word-of-mouth interviews with people sitting near the microphone that caught the taunts. According to Cleveland.com, he has been identified and banned from all events at Quicken Loans Arena. It will be at least a year before the incident can be reviewed for the fan’s reinstatement.
A Spur through and through, Mills here’s how responded when notified of the incident:
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
The son of a Torres Strait native and Aboriginal Australian, Mills and his family have been fighting for civil rights in their native land for generations. His great-uncle Eddie Mabo is well known for being the first native Australian in 200 years to successfully fight for and win land rights for his people. Mills has continued his cause in raising awareness both in Australia and across the ocean in San Antonio.
Earlier today, Patty Mills spent the afternoon with boys from the Young Men’s Leadership Academy and visited the San Antonio Museum of Art.— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) February 27, 2018
They looked at the indigenous art exhibit, talked about his culture, and answered questions the boys had related to his book. pic.twitter.com/sp6MdGq5vx