Arizona Cardinals safety Bishard “Budda” Baker wanted to let people know that he received a racist Instagram message from a San Francisco 49ers fan who criticized his play.
On Sunday, Sept. 13, Baker and his team beat the 49ers 24-20, with Baker racking up a team-high 15 combined tackles. The fan wasn’t happy with the safety’s stellar performance in the road victory, nor did he or she like it when Baker tackled a white 49ers tight end named George Kittle in the second quarter. The NFL star took Kittle down by his legs, a legal move that one commentator gave him credit for, but Kittle suffered a knee sprain on the play and was not a factor in the rest of the game.
“Im all good with opposing fans talking trash,” Baker captioned his tweet posted on Monday. “But This right here man… All you can do is pray for ppl like this.”
“Wasup monkey a– n—–,” read the person’s message. “You gon get a bounty on yo f—– monkey a– head you f—– dirty n—–. Tryna go after knees you think we blind you dirty monkey n—–. Get on your knees you f—— slave before you blow your own knees out you mother f—– n—–.”
Many who claimed to be 49ers fans apologized to Baker while saying that one person’s message isn’t representative of how most of their fan base feels.
“We’re not claiming him,” one person wrote about the fan.
“It must be exhausting to have that much hate in your heart,” another person tweeted.
The racist message comes at a time when the NFL is seeming to support players who are protesting racial injustice, something the league started doing once the United States began going through a racial reckoning in May.
The league also has the words “It Takes All of Us” and “End Racism” stenciled in the end zone, which will remain all season. Plus, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” otherwise known as the “Black national anthem,” was played before every NFL game in Week 1.
“Now you see why everyone is protesting & kneeling. Racism still running rampant in USA. Starts at the top. Sad,” one of Baker’s Twitter followers wrote under his message.
Baker, who’s from Bellevue, Washington, was selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2017 draft.
Last month, ESPN reported that he signed a four-year extension with the Cardinals worth $59 million, with $33.1 million guaranteed. He’s now the highest-paid safety in the NFL.