Heckling the opposing team’s star players is one thing, but hurling racial insults is an entirely different form of disrespect.
It all started when Tennessee meteorologist Joey Sulipeck tweeted about the Warriors’ Game 3 blowout win against the Memphis Grizzlies; specifically about how he wasn’t happy about the officiating.
“And chew on this: Draymond runs his knuckle-dragging open mouth ALL GAME LONG, but mild-mannered Kyle Anderson disputes one call and gets ejected? Next level jackassery,” he tweeted, as Warriors big man Draymond Green is known for playing with his emotions on his sleeve and getting into disagreements with the referees.
Referring to someone as knuckle-dragging is a racist term usually comparing a Black person to a monkey or gorilla. But while backlash quickly spread on social media, Draymond Green and head coach Steve Kerr weren’t surprised.
“Does it surprise me that a weatherman would tweet a slur at Draymond in 2022? Not in the slightest,” Kerr told NBC Sports. “This is America. This is how we operate.”
Draymond Green responded via Instagram stories by writing “Are you surprised?”
Sulipeck deleted the tweet –and eventually, his entire account– but not before Memphis football reporter Evan Barnes captured it and posted it with a tweet that read, “Emotions are high right now among teams and fans over the play in question but this right here? @joeysulipeck– unacceptable. Memo to @FOX13Memphis– talk to your mans and check him. This is over the line and I won’t stand for it. This is bullsh-t.”
During the third quarter, the Grizzlies’ Kyle Anderson was ejected for arguing with a referee David Guthrie after fouling Jordan Poole. It was initially just a technical foul, but even when Anderson’s teammates attempted to hold him back he still tried to approach the referee to get his point across. Eventually, another official would kick him off the court.
According to the Miami Herald, Sulipeck’s actions are under investigation by his employer,Fox 13, who said that his words did “not reflect the values of FOX13” and that they will “will take appropriate action pending a full investigation.”
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