Bucks Guard Patrick Beverly Claims A Fan Racially Taunted Him - But Did They?

John Simmons | May 8, 2024


The thing that bothers me the most about people who play the race card is that they often use it as a way to avoid responsibility for their bad behavior. 

Milwaukee Bucks guard Patrick Beverly recently used this tactic after acting like a child at the end of a playoff game. And his excuse for his behavior was not only incredibly lame, it wasn’t backed up by any solid proof.

The Bucks got eliminated by the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs last week. As the game neared its end, Indiana had a substantial lead and everyone could see the writing was on the wall for the Bucks.

With just over two and a half minutes left, Beverly got into an argument with some Pacers fans who were sitting behind Milwaukee’s bench.

But things escalated really quickly because Beverly decided to act like an idiot. He not only lofted a ball at the fans (subsequently hitting a woman in the head), he followed that up by chucking that same ball at another fan in the group.

Allegedly, they were saying “Cancun on three,” which insinuated that the Bucks would be going on vacation while the Pacers advanced in the playoffs. 

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I’d say Beverly was acting immaturely here, but that wouldn’t do it justice. As an adult, you have to be able to handle trash talk and losing with more grace than that.

A few days after the incident, he offered an apology for his actions on his podcast. But Beverly seemed to imply that he was so mad because he was called something he had never been called before.

“Let’s just say it was more than that. I’ve been called a lot of stuff in this league, I haven’t been called that one," Beverly said. "Still inexcusable, it doesn’t matter what was said. I have to be better and I will be better.”

Now look, I’m not saying that Beverly was lying about the fans being rowdy, because that’s certainly a possibility. And I do think that he was sincere about owning up to his actions.

But the mystery around his accusation is what bothers me, because we have to make a lot of assumptions about what was - or wasn’t - said, with no hard evidence.

We can safely assume that he viewed the comment as racist. But then again, can Beverly prove it was racist? Does he have videos, audio, or teammates that would support his claim? And why not give specific details of the insult either on his podcast or to the powers that be in the NBA?

The reason is because being vague gives him the power to dictate the story. In our culture, you don’t need to prove that someone was being racist to you. You can cry “racism” and no one challenges you, because anyone who does gets labeled as a racist.

This in turn gives him the opportunity to take less responsibility for what happened, since you can (wrongly) escape responsibility for your actions if you were racially abused.

But we still don't know beyond a reasonable doubt if the fan's comments were racist. And even if they were, there’s better ways to handle it than chucking a ball at fans. There’s no legitimate excuse for how Beverly handled this situation.

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