Mike Murphy, one of two Philadelphia fans who were tossed from the 76ers-Lakers game on Thursday for taunting Los Angeles veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, was banned indefinitely from all future 76ers games at the Wells Fargo Center.
After the game, Anthony confirmed Yahoo Sports's report that the fans were calling him “boy” constantly throughout the game, according to Los Angeles Times Lakers beat writer Dan Woike.
According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Murphy joined the Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team show on SportsRadio 94WIP in Philadelphia on Friday and said his comments toward Anthony were not meant to be racist.
“He comes down the court,” Murphy said about Anthony on the radio staton. “We’re blowing [them] out in the game. I say to him, ‘You’re a little boy. Let him shoot. Let him shoot.’ He looked at me. He smiles. I think he goes down to the other end of the court. He comes back down … and I say, ‘Let him shoot. He’s a little boy.’ And he lost his cool out of nowhere.”
The word “boy” being used by white people to describe a Black man has historically been associated with a negative connotation.
Shortly after the comments, Murphy was ejected from the game along with another fan, who was Black man.
Per the Inquirer, a league source said that Murphy denied calling Anthony a “boy” while speaking with security at the arena, saying he referred to him as a “bum.” Even more, Thursday’s incident was not the first time Murphy was involved in disciplinary action concerning his behavior.
Anthony said the comments made toward him were unacceptable.
“I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team,” Anthony said. “I’m all for that. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, that’s what you're going to see. That’s what you’re going to get, as you saw.
“It’s just certain things you don’t bring to any type of sporting event. Certain things you don’t say to anybody. If I was outside and I bumped into you and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story.”
While it was reported that Murphy was a season ticket holder, he was not but was always a familiar face inside the arena. After the incident, he will no longer be allowed inside the arena for the time being.
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