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

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 Cleveland.com 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.)

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San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills
PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 7 : Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on prior to the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 7, 2018 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nov 5, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Patty Mills (8) shoots the ball as Phoenix Suns center Tyson Chandler (4) looks on during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) celebrates after a play during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in game six of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 14, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili (20) high fives guard Patty Mills (8) after a play against the Golden State Warriors during the second quarter in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
May 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) has words with San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) in the second half in game three of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. San Antonio won 103-92. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 8: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Sacramento Kings on January 8, 2018 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs warms up before the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 17, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 21 : Tony Parker #9 of the San Antonio Spurs gets congratulations from Patty Mills #8 during game against the Indiana Pacers at AT&T Center on January 21, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO,TX - JANUARY 21 : Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs is congratulated after hitting a basket during game against the Indiana Pacers at AT&T Center on January 21, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 30: Tony Parker #9 and Patty Mills #8 of the San Antonio Spurs looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on January 30, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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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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