Kevin Durant has to cough up $25,000 for telling a heckler in the crowd to leave him alone. It happened on Saturday (Nov. 17) when the Golden State Warriors lost to the Dallas Mavericks 112-109.
As of now, it’s not clear what that person said to Durant, though some sportscasters speculate he was called “cupcake”. Either way, he clearly wasn’t having it. “Watch the f—— game and shut the f— up,” Durant can be heard saying in a clip.
Once the exchange hit the Internet, it brought up an age-old debate: Is heckling part of sports, and is it something that athletes shouldn’t only expect but put up with? Or, should fans back off and treat players like they would any else who’s at their workplace, with respect.
Across Twitter and Instagram, fans debated whether KD is too soft for the league or had every right to defend himself.
“He did get fined for it. But still he got called a cupcake and gets all sensitive,” wrote that Instagram user.
“If I paid 3k for court sides seats, I’m saying whatever I want,” wrote someone else.
“I remember when heckling was literally the only reason to go to a game,” another said. “Why the f— would anyone spend money to sit at a live game when you can watch it at home?”
While some fans argued that the cost of the ticket shouldn’t give fans carte blanche, others noted that the line is if hate speech was spewed.
“Yeah. As long as it isn’t hate speech he can say what he wants. Can you imagine if Reggie Miller had bitched and complained because Spike Lee was talking shit? KD is just soft…”
Others were squarely in KD’s corner, “Nah I think it’s the fact that someone who has never played the game at at high level can yell profanities at you. KD hate him or love him is one of the best to ever play. Can’t stand him but I can’t blame him for firing back.”
“Where can I donate to the KD curse word fund? Sounds like the fan deserved it.”
“How much was the fan fine for acting like he could talk any-old way he wants to a grown a– man? Minimally, fans need to get one warning and then forced to leave.”
You can see the video of Durant reprimanding that fan below.