Cavaliers ban fan who directed racist taunts at Spurs guard Patty Mills

Ben Rohrbach
·2 min read
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/teams/san-antonio/" data-ylk="slk:Spurs">Spurs</a> guard <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/4660/" data-ylk="slk:Patty Mills">Patty Mills</a> was subjected to racist taunts in Cleveland on Sunday. (Getty Images)
Spurs guard Patty Mills was subjected to racist taunts in Cleveland on Sunday. (Getty Images)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have identified and banned the fan who directed racial slurs at San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, according to multiple reports.

As Mills was attempting a pair of free throws with 2:29 remaining in San Antonio’s 110-94 victory, a spectator could be heard on the ABC broadcast twice shouting, “Jamaica called. They want their bobsledder back.” A Twitter user captured the footage and shared it on her social media account.

According to both and ESPN, the Cavaliers launched an investigation in an attempt to identify the fan in question by perusing video footage inside the arena and interviewing spectators in the area. By Tuesday, the team had banned the fan from Quicken Loans Arena for at least one year.

Mills was born in Australia, nowhere near Jamaica, to an Aboriginal Australian mother and a Torres Strait Islander father. (Torres Strait is an island between mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea.)

Mills ignored the offending spectator during the game and sank both free throws. Afterwards, he thanked the Twitter user who shared the video for her efforts to “enlighten this confused, hateful fan.”

The incident occurred just hours after Spurs coach Gregg Popovich praised Cavaliers star LeBron James during his pregame media session for speaking out against racial inequality. Earlier this month, Popovich said, “We live in a racist country that hasn’t figured it out yet. It’s always important to bring attention to it, even if it angers some people.” Sunday in Cleveland really drove that point home.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!