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DeMarcus Cousins has been the target of racist language by NBA fans, the Warriors star said in an interview Monday.
“Oh, I’ve been called n—–,” he told Yahoo Sports. “And it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back and I was still punished for it.”
Although Cousins didn’t want to single out any fanbase or city by revealing where the abuse occurred, Yahoo Sports reports league sources indicated at least one incident happened in Sacramento.
“There are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that,” Cousins continued. “… [The league] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be, but how many times am I supposed to ignore that?”
The issue of racial abuse by fans came to the forefront earlier in the month when Russell Westbrook was caught on camera shouting into the stands at Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena. The incident that precipitated the viral moment, according to Westbrook, was being told by a fan to “get down on my knees like I’m used to.”
After an investigation, the Jazz announced the fan, Shane Keisel, had been banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena.
“The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player,” the Jazz wrote in a statement. “The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately. There is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect.”
Basketball is hardly the only sport plagued by racist and abusive fans. Racist language, often aimed at African players, is a persistent problem in the European soccer leagues. Last December, a Tottenham fan was fined and banned for life from attending matches after he threw a banana at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
In February, Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who is from Egypt, was the target of Islamophobic language at a match against West Ham. Police are currently investigating the matter.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/DeMarcus-Cousins-racist-abuse-fans-interview-13715348.php.