10-27-2006, 03:55 AM
Local High School Star
Join Date: Jun 2006
Mutombo and the TD Waterhouse Brawl that never happened
Mutombo nearly goes into stands
Center provoked by racial slurs, wants NBA action
By JONATHAN FEIGEN
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle
ORLANDO, FLA. - An incensed Dikembe Mutombo was restrained from going into the stands after a fan shouting racial slurs on Thursday and said that if the NBA objects to his behavior, next time he will not be stopped.
Mutombo flashed an obscene gesture at the fan and began walking toward him when Rockets trainer Keith Jones and game official Phil Robinson intervened.
"If they didn't kick him out of this arena, he would have seen me off the court," Mutombo said. "I will not accept that. We are not in the '60s. People have paid the price for us to be where we are today. For him to call a black man a monkey in the middle of the game, he was in the second row, for him to stand up and call, 'Mutombo the monkey,' is an insult. It insulted my integrity, my body, my family, my race."
Holding his thumb and forefinger a quarter-inch apart, Mutombo said he was "this close" to going in the stands.
When asked if he expected to be fined for his gesture, he said, "If they fine me, I will go straight to the stands next time and (mess) somebody up."
Magic spokesman Joel Glass said Robinson contacted a security official who brought in police to escort the fan from the arena. The incident was turned over to NBA Security, he said.
"I want to see what the league will do," Mutombo said. "I hope they won't allow him in the arena any more. I'll call the commissioner (David Stern) myself.
"He's got no business to be in the arena. If he's not going to come and watch the game and enjoy it, the beauty of this game, the success of the league, he should not be allowed. The league is getting tougher on the player. We need to get tougher to ... the people who accuse us and mistreat us.
"Guys like Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar), Bill Russell, Oscar Robinson, they don't want to see this happen to today, to our generation, what they witnessed in their lifetime when they were playing to pay the price for what we have today.
"It's sad that this is still going on in America."
Although I found some of his quotes here funny, his comments on the era of Kareem and Russell strike a chord in the past racial state of the United States. We usually dont think about this side of sports, but when a respected player makes such a comment, it shines light upon a reality blanketed by camera lights.