INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The Cleveland Cavaliers have identified the person who heckled San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills with racially insensitive taunts, according to a team spokesman, and he has been banned from Quicken Loans Arena indefinitely, with a review to come after a period of one year.
Late in the Spurs’ 110-94 win in Cleveland on Sunday, a fan sitting close to the court heckled Mills while he was at the free throw line.
Mills took to Twitter late Sunday night to respond to a fan who posted a video clip of the incident, saying that he hoped to “enlighten this confused, hateful fan.”
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
Mills was at the line with 2:29 remaining in Sunday’s game when the fan could be heard yelling, “Hey Jamaica called, they want their bobsledder back. Hey Mills, Jamaica just called, they want their bobsledder back!”
The heckle was originally misinterpreted by both the fan who brought the clip to Mills’ attention and Spurs forward Kyle Anderson as, “Hey, Jamaican dog!”
Mills, a native of Australia who is black, was not asked about the taunts after the game. His father is a Torres Strait Islander and his mother is an indigenous Australian.