Heckling has long been a part of the professional (and collegiate) sports experience.
Some fans (crappy ones) get joy out of ridiculing and spewing hate or insults at players of opposing teams in order to get them off of their game or satisfy their own insecurities, I am not 100% sure, that has never been my thing.
Most players are well versed at dealing with this and don’t pay any attention or let it affect them, at least on the surface.
There are times when the players decide to confront a fan when it goes too far though and one of those situations happened Monday night with Damian Lillard as he was walking to the bus after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Here is an excerpt from a Chris Haynes story on ESPN:
“Two fans shouted anti-gay slurs at Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard while he was walking to the team bus on Monday night, sources told ESPN.
Lillard confirmed to ESPN that the phrases were shouted at him after the Blazers’ 108-107 loss to the Timberwolves in Minnesota….
Cellphone video captured an irritated Lillard approaching the hecklers, asking, “Which one of you all said that?” A woman in the area pointed out one of the individuals, and that person apologized. Sources at the scene say no action was taken against the fans.”
While I am not sure exactly what was said by the fans (I can venture a guess) or why they decided to use the deroatory language toward Lillard, good for him for calling them out for it and having them apologize without getting physical or losing his cool.