Draymond Green has said he has been subject to racial abuse by fans in NBA arenas.
Speaking to Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Green revealed he had been called racial names by fans and he sympathized with Baltimore Oilers star Adam Jones, who was also racially abused by a fan in Boston when they threw a bag of peanuts at him and called him the N-word on Monday night.
Green said he had been called the N-word and hopes more awareness is brought to the situation when he was interviewed before the Golden State Warriors defeated the Utah Jazz 106-94 in the opener of their Western Conference Semifinals series.
He said: “I’ve gotten the N-word, all of that. I’d rather not get into (where). A few places, especially being that it is me. Athletes are just not protected in that regard. Maybe something like (Jones’ incident in Boston) will help.”
Green, alongside teammate Steph Curry, are part of an advisory board called the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), that looks to improve race relations through sports.
Curry, who scored 22 points against the Jazz, has said progress is being made but there is still some way to go.
The two-time MVP said: “There has been progress, but people want to sweep stuff under the rug and turn a blind eye to what people go through every single day in terms of prejudice and racism. Obviously, there are plenty of groups, initiatives and people trying to attack the problem, RISE being one of them. As long as I have the platform I do, I plan to use it.”
Green believes the reason why racial abuse is still happening is because there is no discipline being given to over-the-top hecklers.
“Cheer for your team. Do what you want. But if I’m playing in the game and you’re cheering for your team, it doesn’t give you the right to say whatever you want to say to me. This is my job, and I can’t go to your job and say whatever I want to you.
"If I went to someone else’s job and said whatever I wanted to say, I’d get arrested for harassment. It’s a fine line. I don’t think any league does a great job of making sure that athletes are protected.
“The fans are great, but at times I think the leagues empower hecklers to say whatever they want to us. We are in a position where if you naturally react, you’re screwed, you’re losing money. But there are great fans out there, and all fans shouldn’t be put in that category.”