Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors created his latest controversy on Monday when he stomped on Sacramento Kings star Domantas Sabonis late in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
But Karolis Tiškevičius, the host of a Lithuanian basketball podcast, is under fire himself for referring to Green as a “real animal” and “monkey” for his actions toward Sabonis.
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“What happened yesterday in Sacramento, when Draymond Green just like a monkey was jumping,” said Tiškevičius. “There is no racism here. If you want you can try to see this kind of jumping is a monkey jumping, and he was jumping on Domantas Sabonis. … A real animal, animal.”
Although he claimed there were no racial motivations behind his choice of words, there is a long history of racial overtones when it comes to Black people being referred to as “monkeys” and “animals.”
Sabonis is the son of former NBA player and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis, who is originally from Lithuania.
The younger Sabonis took a beating in Game 2, even prior to the Green incident, but he still managed to score 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, to go along with nine rebounds and four assists in Sacramento’s 114-106 win.
During the incident, Green was attempting to head downcourt when the younger Sabonis, who was on the ground, grabbed Green’s leg to prevent him from moving forward. Green responded by aggressively planting his foot on the younger Sabonis’ chest, and it looked to many as if he intentionally stomped on the All-Star big man.
Green was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected from the game as a result.
He has obviously been involved in a number of incidents that many have deemed dirty. Most notably, he got tangled up with LeBron James during Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Finals and hit the superstar in his groin, which resulted in a flagrant foul.
Because he had collected his fourth flagrant foul point in the playoffs, Green was suspended for Game 5 in the Bay Area. That suspension turned the series around, as James’ Cleveland Cavaliers won the next three games to capture their first NBA championship.
The Kings currently lead their best-of-seven versus Golden State 2-0, and they will be faced with the challenge of preventing Green’s crew from tying the series with the next two games taking place in San Francisco.