Luka Doncic Responds To Montrezl Harrell’s “White Boy” Insult, Will NBA React?
Luka Doncic took the high road on Sunday when asked about the racial insult Montrezl Harrell hurled his way on Friday night.
“It was OK,” Doncic said. “No worries. A lot of emotions on the court, especially with the playoffs. Sometimes you say things you don’t want to say. He apologized. I respect that. So no problems.”
Doncic and Harrell met at midcourt prior to Game 4 and exchanged a hug.
Montrezl Harrell apologized to Luka Doncic pregame for comments he made about Doncic in Game 3. pic.twitter.com/L9Ej5I3AmO
— ESPN (@espn) August 23, 2020
Following the Dallas Mavericks’ thrilling 135-133 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday, Harrell took to Twitter to clear the air about what transpired.
If gone get the story get it right all I ask, no one spoke wit me to do anything I approach him and cleared the air from all the outside nonsense that was being said. Nothing but respect for Luka he understood the heat of the battle and he said it didn’t bother him only RESPECT https://t.co/MOKlkT3CAH
— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) August 23, 2020
Interestingly enough, that Harrell’s statement seemingly contradicts what his head coach, Doc Rivers, said regarding the matter.
According to Rivers, he did discuss the racial insult with his big man.
“They both were talking,” Rivers said.
“I don’t think Luka was saying anything racial, but he was swearing, so they both were doing it. It’s an emotional game. It’s a playground game out there in the playoffs. I said to him, ‘Hey, I don’t think you meant anything racially by it.’
“He said, ‘White boy,’ but I don’t think there was anything racial intended. But, we are in a very heightened climate and you have to be careful. Trez was the first one to say that. He said, ‘I didn’t mean that racially.’”
After what transpired on Sunday afternoon, both teams seemed far more concerned with basketball-related matters than anything else.
Doncic scored 43 points in Game 4, including the game-winning shot that ultimately tied the series at 2-2. The 21-year-old phenom also chipped in 17 rebounds and 13 assists in the winning effort.
Harrell scored two points, grabbed 1 rebound and dished out 1 assist in 17 minutes of action.
Luka Doncic Has Moved On, But What About The NBA?
Clearly Doncic has moved past the incident. Harrell seems similarly over it. The question now is whether the league will step in and do something about what happened, given the increased scrutiny on all things related to racial matters these days. The NBA has made a big push as it pertains to promoting equality this year, and Harrell’s comment seemingly violates that in a big way.
At this point a punishment doesn’t appear to be on the horizon, but the precedent for one does seem to be there.
During his time with the Sacramento Kings, Rajon Rondo was caught on camera hurling a gay slur at NBA referee Bill Kennedy. He was promptly suspended for one game.
Along the same lines, when Joakim Noah was with the Chicago Bulls, he was fined $50,000 for calling a heckling fan a gay slur.
While it is debatable whether or not “B**** a** white boy” is a slur or simply a racial insult, presumably once you enter the territory of “race + insult” you’ve gone too far.
A punishment of some sort for Harrell would not seem unreasonable in this instance, but it does not look like the NBA plans to dish one out.