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Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony confronts courtside 76ers fans after witnesses heard one call him ‘boy’

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony confronted a pair of 76ers fans who were ultimately ejected from Thursday’s game in Philadelphia after witnesses heard one of the two referring to the ten-time All-Star as ‘boy.’

Anthony, an African American with Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino ancestry, did not share what was said to him, nor did he specify which fan made the offending comment. One of the two ejected fans is white, while the other is black.

‘It is what it is,’ Anthony said after the Lakers lost to the Sixers in Philadelphia, 105-87, without the injured LeBron James. ‘Some things were said. Unacceptable.

‘I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team. 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.’

Yahoo! Sports NBA reporter Chris Haynes said one of the two fans repeatedly referred to Anthony as ‘boy,’ a term that carries distinct racial connotations.

‘Keeping shooting boy,’ Haynes reported one saying. ‘Get in the corner boy.’

Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony confronted a pair of 76ers fans who were ultimately ejected from Thursday's game in Philadelphia after witnesses heard one of the two referring to the ten-time All-Star as 'boy'

Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony confronted a pair of 76ers fans who were ultimately ejected from Thursday’s game in Philadelphia after witnesses heard one of the two referring to the ten-time All-Star as ‘boy. The incident took place in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center. According to TNT announcer Ian Eagle, the fans, who were seated a few rows back near mid-court, had been heckling Anthony for several possessions

Anthony, an African American with Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino ancestry, did not share what was said to him, nor did he specify which fan made the offending comment. One of the two ejected fans is white, while the other is black

Anthony, an African American with Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino ancestry, did not share what was said to him, nor did he specify which fan made the offending comment. One of the two ejected fans is white, while the other is black

The fans who were ejected (top of the picture in blue) allegedly called Anthony 'boy'

The fans who were ejected (top of the picture in blue) allegedly called Anthony ‘boy’

The incident took place in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center. According to TNT announcer Ian Eagle, the fans, who were seated a few rows back near mid-court, had been heckling Anthony for several possessions.

‘Carmelo Anthony is getting into it with some fans here, just behind our broadcast area,’ Eagle said. ‘They’ve been riding him for about four straight possessions. Melo started looking in their direction. The conversation continued and now Melo has had enough and began to move towards them.’

Officials quickly stepped in to prevent Anthony from going into the crowd, and promptly pointed out the fans to security, who escorted the pair away.

As that was happening, Anthony had words with another fan seated closer to the baseline.

The former Syracuse ended that confrontation and returned to mid-court as the game resumed.

‘It’s just certain things you don’t bring to any type of sporting event,’ Anthony told reporters afterwards. ‘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.’

Another fan quickly took over for his ejected counterparts by screaming in Anthony's ear

Another fan quickly took over for his ejected counterparts by screaming in Anthony’s ear

Anthony didn't hesitate to respond to the 76ers fan who challenged him in Philadelphia

Anthony didn’t hesitate to respond to the 76ers fan who challenged him in Philadelphia

Philadelphia sports fans are notoriously rough on opposing athletes, including Anthony’s Lakers teammate, Russell Westbrook, who had popcorn dumped on him when he played in a Wizards-Sixers game at Wells Fargo last season.

The former MVP reacted furiously and had to be held back by Wizards staff and Wells Fargo Center security guards. Ultimately he returned to the locker room for the final moments of the Wizards’ loss. Westbrook has since been traded to the Lakers. 

Before this season, Wells Fargo Center instituted a zero-tolerance policy for racist or ‘identity-based’ language.

Lakers coach Frank Vogel shared his frustration over the confrontation after the defeat.

‘Unacceptable language and unacceptable behavior by fans,’ Vogel said. ‘There’s got to be a higher standard and hopefully that’s handled the right way.’

An irate Russell Westbrook needed to be restrained during a game in Philadelphia last season after a unruly 76ers fan poured popcorn on the Wizards guard as he walked off the court

An irate Russell Westbrook needed to be restrained on Wednesday night in Philadelphia after a unruly 76ers fan poured popcorn on the Washington Wizards guard as he walked towards the locker room after suffering an injury in Game 2 of their ongoing first-round playoff series

An irate Russell Westbrook needed to be restrained during a game in Philadelphia last season after a unruly 76ers fan poured popcorn on the Wizards guard as he walked off the court

It did not take long for Wells Fargo Center security to identify the fan who tossed the popcorn

It did not take long for Wells Fargo Center security to identify the fan who tossed the popcorn


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