Draymond Green on heckling Thunder fan: ‘This ain’t the ancient times. Slave days are over’

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Draymond Green and a Thunder fan got into it during the Warriors’ highly charged win — in Kevin Durant‘s first visit to Oklahoma City with Golden State — Saturday.

What happened?

Green, via CSN Bay Area:

That guy was just disrespectful to all of us the entire night. I’m all for you cheering for your guys. Cheer. Heckle. Heckle all you want. But don’t be disrespectful. Calling guys p-words and all this stuff and “Get over there, little boy.”

This ain’t the ancient times. Slave days are over. You’re not going to talk to guys like that. That’s disrespectful.

The fan, Rich Taylor, defended himself. Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman:

But Taylor said that while he did engage in back and forth with Durant and Green, he only cursed in repeating a phrase Durant directed at him. said nothing he aimed at Warriors players was vulgar or had racial undertones.

Green’s accusations of racial insults were “because I got under his skin,” Taylor said

“You’re under a microscope when you sit that close,” Taylor said. “I know walking in there that I can’t even swear. One swear word gives them the right to throw me out of the game. I’m from California. I’ve been going to Laker games since I was a kid. I’ve been going to Thunder games since they came here. I know what I’m allowed to say.”

Taylor said he told Green “Don’t kick anybody tonight” and called Durant a “p—-,” but only after Durant used called him one.

Is any of that racial on its face? Seemingly no.

But we can’t escape the greater context: A majority-white fanbase buys tickets that allows yelling at majority-black players. You can debate the relevancy and how to handle it, but that is the reality.

And in this reality, like any, words can have different connotations than in other situations.