76ers Fan Who Flipped off Westbrook: ‘I Did it Because He Called Me Fat’
Wednesday night was the home opener for the Philadelphia 76ers, and in the very first quarter, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook went hard to the rim for a score and the foul.
Waiting for him in the expensive seats was a 76ers fan who gave him a two finger salute after the basket. All Westbrook could do was stare at him and look around to see if someone was going to handle the fan.
That fan, Dr. Richard Harkaway, a Philadelphia urologist, was kicked out and took to Facebook to state why he did what he did:
“To all my FB friends who are seeing a picture of me on the Internet giving the finger to Russell Westbrook. Actually two fingers,’’ Harkaway wrote in a private post. “Not as simple as it seems. I love to scream at the players and anyone who has been to a game with me knows this. Part of my charm. What you may not have seen on any of the video clips is what started the whole thing, which was Russell Westbrook saying ‘sit down f—ing fat boy’ when I stood up to boo.” [nypost.com]
In the below clip, Westbrook can be seen yelling something at the fans:
Sixers fan on baseline just gave Russell Westbrook the double birds after an and-1. Westbrook reaction: pic.twitter.com/KwTeswmFJv
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) October 27, 2016
After the game, Westbrook had this to say about the fan:
“I know, that’s crazy, right?” he said when asked about the incident postgame. “I turned a new leaf, though. I leave that alone, because that cost me $25,000 last time. The fan, he’ll be alright. They can say whatever they want to the players and do what they want, but my job is to play basketball, and that’s what I do.”
Later on Wednesday, Harkaway issued a formal apology to Westbrook:
“As a part-time comedian I realize that my words and actions are sometimes inappropriate,” Harkaway said in a statement to Philly.com issued by a personal representative. “In this instance, after standing up to boo and being provoked by Russell Westbrook calling attention to my being overweight, my action in response was clearly inexcusable and I am embarrassed. I sincerely apologize to my fellow Sixers fans, the Sixers organization, my colleagues and patients, and to Mr. Westbrook for my behavior.”