Emotions have been running high in the playoff series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Toronto Raptors — who triumphed in Game 6 and will be heading to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
The spirited rivalry between the two teams, however, took an unfortunate turn when a diehard Bucks fan issued a tweet targeting longtime Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia, who’s become something of a celebrity as a fixture at the team’s games and known for his annual gesture of purchasing thousands of Raptors tickets that he gives to Sikh youth.
Bhatia, who is Sikh and wears the traditional turban on his head, was the subject of the nasty tweet, which was brought to Twitter’s attention by MP Raj Grewal, who is also Sikh, telling the social media platform that the tweet “is racist and should be removed.”
Despite the Raptors’ win, numerous Bucks fans reached out to Bhatia on social media to apologize for the tweet on behalf of their city, and Bhatia offered his thanks.
Even more amazingly, the man behind the racist tweet later got in touch with Bhatia in order to offer his own personal apology.
“I felt really sorry, and I felt like he hadn’t seen the world at all,” Bhatia told HuffPost. “He was a very simple guy who had never been out of Milwaukee.”
Bhatia added that he was impressed that the man had the “guts” to contact him and apologize, and that they were able to settle the matter in a telephone conversation.
“A negative thing has changed into a positive thing,” he said.