The NBA season starts with two games tonight but Orlando Magic fans have already jumped out to an early lead in the “obnoxious/racist fan” standings. A Magic season-ticket holder named Hooman Hamzehloui has been banned from every NBA arena this season because he called Mutombo a monkey. By all accounts, Mutombo is a good guy who builds hospitals in his homeland and happily mangles sayings like “it’s no walk in the cake”, so why would you mess with him?
Hamzehloui sent Mutombo a letter of apology and promised $5,000 to the charity of Mutombo’s choice.
I am by no means a racist, and if you only knew me better you would never begin to have those thoughts. What I am guilty of is poor judgment in the use of words while doing what I do to many of the visiting team’s players, ‘heckle them.’
I thoroughly respect you as a player and as a human being and my only motivation when I have my fun at the games is to ‘get under the player’s skin’ no matter what color that skin happens to be.
Hamzehloui also said he would not attend any NBA games until Mutombo gave his blessing. Uhh… jackass, you’re not allowed to attend any NBA games this season anyway. Mutombo, for his part, said he has already forgiven the man. He also added, “C is for Cookie!”
[SI]: Magic fan banned for racial slur