76ers fan who heckled Carmelo Anthony banned from arena
The Philadelphia 76ers have acted decisively regarding the fan who was ejected on Thursday night for heckling Carmelo Anthony.
The fan, Mike Murphy, has been a fixture at 76ers games and has a history of problematic conduct at games, according to a report. The Philly Inquirer says Murphy had “been previously warned and disciplined for inappropriate behavior and violations of the NBA Fan Code of Conduct.”
Murphy has now been banned indefinitely from attending events at Wells Fargo Arena.
#Sixers fan Mike Murphy has been banned indefinitely from all future 76ers’ games as well as future events at the Wells Fargo Center, according to a team source. The source confirmed an investigation over Murphy’s incident Thursday with Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) January 29, 2022
There is a debate about exactly what Murphy said and whether or not his words had racial intent.
Murphy used the term “boy” when heckling Anthony. Anthony apparently took the comments as a racial slight. Murphy says there was no racial intent, but he was just trying to get in Anthony’s head about shooting poorly.
“He comes down the court,” Murphy said of the situation on Philly sports radio station WIP. “We’re blowing [them] out in the game. I say to him, ‘You’re a little boy. Let him shoot. Let him shoot.’ He looked at me. He smiles. I think he goes down to the other end of the court. He comes back down … and I say, ‘Let him shoot. He’s a little boy.’ And he lost his cool out of nowhere.”
A report from Chris Haynes says the fan told Anthony “shoot the ball, boy.”
Sixers fan that was ejected for taunting Los Angeles Lakers star Carmelo Anthony kept calling him a “boy” and yelling “get in the corner boy” and “keeping shooting boy,” league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 28, 2022
Anthony felt two different groups of fans crossed the line with him.
Carmelo Anthony confirmed that he was called "boy" by fans in Philadelphia and that line-crossing comments came from two different groups of people.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 28, 2022
Though he says there was no racial intent behind his heckling, Murphy is not receiving the benefit of the doubt from the 76ers. Murphy’s history likely has resulted in the indefinite ban.
Murphy’s friend, a black man who also was heckling Anthony, has been suspended the rest of the season.
Philadelphia 76ers spokesperson confirmed to @YahooSports that following investigation, fan who made disparaging remarks toward Carmelo Anthony is banned indefinitely from all future Sixers games and events at Wells Fargo Center. Second fan suspended for remainder of season.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 29, 2022