Bradley Beal’s midseason beef with a fan isn’t going away just yet. The Wizards guard was the subject of an investigation conducted by the Orlando Police Department last month over an incident with a fan following Washington’s March 21 loss to the Magic.
Beal allegedly smacked the fan, Kyler Briffa, on the side of the head over comments his friend made directed at the Wizards star. As Beal headed to the locker room, Briffa’s friend reportedly said, “You made me lose $1,300, you f—.” Beal confronted Briffa instead of the friend, pressing him over the alleged “disrespect”, via ESPN’s David Purdum:
“When you disrespect me, I’m going to press you about it,” the Wizards star said to Briffa. “Do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke … because when I press you about it, what are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing?”
Briffa is now suing both the Wizards franchise and Bradley Beal for the incident over battery and assault claims and is seeking over $50,000 in damages.
Beal addressed the incident after the Wizards’ season had ended, harping on the increased animosity being exhibited by betting fans against the players that lose them money. It’s a sentiment that’s been shared throughout the league this season.
“Nobody wants to lose money. I get it. If you keep it about sports, I’m all for it. But I think it’s when people start getting personal, talking about your family, talking about your character, your integrity towards the game. I think all of that, we can save it. We can really keep those comments to ourselves,” said the Wizards star.
“I understand. I go to casinos; I gamble; I understand that. But I also understand it’s probably a 99% chance I’m going to lose,” Beal told reporters April 10. “I’m not sitting here about to get angry at the dealer or angry at everybody else.”
With the NBA embracing sports betting as part of the game, the uptick has been felt across the league as fans continue to harass players for lost wagers. While nobody was seriously hurt in Bradley Beal’s incident, Adam Silver shouldn’t wait for a more severe case to emerge before the NBA steps in with a solution or at the very least a statement condemning such behavior along with a potential arena ban. The players face enough pressure representing an entire city on their jersey. Getting berated for a lost bet shouldn’t add to that in the slightest.
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