Canadians have a reputation for being the nicest people you’ll ever meet. There’s a running joke about “sorry” being the go-to phrase of our friends in the great white north; bump into one of them and they’ll be the ones apologizing.
But some fans of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors seem to have missed that memo. On Monday night, numerous spectators could be heard cheering after opposing American player Kevin Durant sustained a painful injury on the court.
“Durant got hurt on a dribble on the right wing, coming up lame on a crossover move and falling to the floor,” CBS station KYW-TV reported in sports parlance.
“Durant grabbed the back of his leg, appeared to grab below the calf and more toward the Achilles area, and needed help to limp to the bench area and more help to get back to the Warriors’ locker room,” the station said.
It’s instilled in fans and players even at the high school level to show respect when someone is injured during a sporting event. After all, it’s only a game — and some injuries can end a player’s season or even his or her career. But poor sportsmanship seemed to spread through the Toronto crowd faster than a Mountie on a galloping horse.
“After going down, Raptors fans started to cheer, with some even waving goodbye to Durant while he was in pain on the court,” KYW-TV said.
Multiple videos from both inside and outside the Canadian stadium showed cheers erupting among the crowd as Durant, who plays as #35 for the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant goes down…. pic.twitter.com/fSjEB1QiQv
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) June 11, 2019
To their credit, several Raptors were also seen trying to get fans to stop the classless jeering after the injury. And numerous NBA players spoke out on social media to voice their disgust for the display.
“Why are they cheering for his injury? Come on man #Disguting,” posted Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. “Trash. So trash. Like I said, we’re only idolized as superstar athletes. Not human beings,” tweeted DeMarcus Cousins of the Golden State Warriors in a post-game interview.
Why are they cheering for his injury? Come on man #Disguting
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 11, 2019
“Trash. So trash. Like I said, we’re only idolized as superstar athletes. Not human beings.”
– DeMarcus Cousins on Raptors fans cheering after KD’s injury pic.twitter.com/hV3blpMbof
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
Durant’s future is uncertain, but the Warriors did manage to win the game, 106-105. The injured player contributed 11 of those points before going down.
American fans are often portrayed as crass and obnoxious, especially when dealing with foreigners. That’s sometimes true, but this incident shows that it certainly isn’t just Yanks who can be inconsiderate. There’s no excuse for this kind of behavior.
Basketball is supposed to be a fun competition between teams that generally respect one another, not a showcase of how bitter one side can be. When Canada fails to show sportsmanship when it counts, it might be time to step back and re-think what is happening to our culture.
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