Sports: Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia Targeted With Racist Tweet. Then The Tweeter Apologized. - PressFrom - Canada
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SportsRaptors Superfan Nav Bhatia Targeted With Racist Tweet. Then The Tweeter Apologized.

05:10  26 may  2019
05:10  26 may  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.ca

Raptors and fans are the 'real Toronto': Loud, multicultural and hungry for historic win

Raptors and fans are the 'real Toronto': Loud, multicultural and hungry for historic win On Saturday night, fans like Yasmin Said will watch as the Toronto Raptors try to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks and earn the franchise's first-ever trip to the NBA Finals. Historic is not a big enough word. © Provided by Canadian Broadcasting CorporationSaid, who says she watches the game with the intensity of an assistant coach, can't wait. When everyone comes together over the game, she says, Toronto feels like "one big family." Raptors in uncharted territory © Morry Gash/The Associated Press Milwaukee's Eric Bledsoe attempts a shot in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final on Friday.

The latest Tweets from Nav Bhatia Superfan (@ superfan _ nav ). Official account for Toronto Raptor 's Superfan Nav Bhatia . Before then , he's doing a live Q&A w/@dwightdrummond on Twitter and Facebook. Leave your questions in the comments.

Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia responds to racist Bucks fans . (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images). It’s been a heated Eastern Conference Finals between the Raptors and the Bucks, but one Milwaukee fan took things too far with a racist tweet aimed towards Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia .

Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia Targeted With Racist Tweet. Then The Tweeter Apologized.© Provided by Oath Inc. Nav Bhatia attends a game between the Toronto Raptors and the Philadelphia 76ers on May 2, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

You’re about to read a story with the best kind of twist ending.

As basketball fans know, the playoff series between the Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks has been an intense nail-biter, as both teams vie for a spot in the NBA finals.

But, there’s a big difference between good-natured competitive ribbing, and the racism that was directed at Raptors superfan, Nav Bhatia, on Tuesday.

Bhatia was the target of a racist tweet by a now-deleted account, @KJB30.

Raptors Fans Sing 'O Canada' in the Streets After Team Advances to NBA Finals

Raptors Fans Sing 'O Canada' in the Streets After Team Advances to NBA Finals Raptors Fans Sing 'O Canada' in the Streets After Team Advances to NBA Finals

One Bucks fan took things way too far with a racist tweet aimed at Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia .

80.6k Followers, 510 Following, 975 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from Nav Bhatia Superfan (@navbhatiasuperfan).

The tweet was put on blast by MP Raj Grewal, who called on Twitter to deal with the issue.

“Hey @Twitter, this tweet by @KJB30 is racist and should be removed,” Grewal tweeted on Wednesday. “There is no place for this type of language in the @NBA or on Twitter.

Grewal then extended a compassionate offer to the offending tweeter. “Also, I don’t know you @KJB30 but I welcome you to come to Toronto and meet @superfan_nav he’s one of the nicest guys in the game.”

Did Newborn Babies Drive The Raptors' Playoff Success?

Did Newborn Babies Drive The Raptors' Playoff Success? Now that the Toronto Raptors are about to face off against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals, everyone is trying to figure out what got them there. Is this the work of star player Kawhi Leonard alone? Did Drake help or harm? Or was it the babies? The idea that newborns might have contributed to the Raptors’ history-making entry into the final round started right after the team won Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. Point guard Fred VanVleet, who didn’t have a great playoff performance up to that point, was suddenly playing better than ever: he scored 13 points in Game 4 on Tuesday, and 21 points on Thursday, all three-pointers.

Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia responds to racist Bucks fans . (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images). It’s been a heated Eastern Conference Finals between the Raptors and the Bucks, but one Milwaukee fan took things too far with a racist tweet aimed towards Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia .

Toronto Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia responds to racist Bucks fans . (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images). It’s been a heated Eastern Conference Finals between the Raptors and the Bucks, but one Milwaukee fan took things too far with a racist tweet aimed towards Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia .

Apparently, Milwaukee fans wanted Bhatia to know the tweet didn’t speak for them, because on Friday, Bhatia tweeted a message of gratitude following the Raptors-Bucks game in Milkwaukee, which ended with Toronto taking the lead in the series:

“Thank you to all the @Bucks fans who came up to me and apologized for words someone tweeted even though you didnt have to,” he tweeted. “I know we are in a heated series, but i want everyone to know, regardless of what one person has said. Milwaukee and its fans are incredible!”

Bucks fans flocked to the post to share their love:

The story might have ended there. But, Bhatia told HuffPost Canada the man behind the tweet got in touch to apologize.

“I felt really sorry, and I felt like he hadn’t seen the world at all,” said Bhatia, about first seeing the tweet. “He was a very simple guy who had never been out of Milwaukee.”

Impressed that he had the “guts” to reach out and apologize to him, Bhatia said through a phone conversation, the two managed to work things out.

“We’ve worked a negative thing has changed into a positive thing.”

Superfan Nav Bhatia unites basketball fans — even the Toronto Raptors’ opponents

Superfan Nav Bhatia unites basketball fans — even the Toronto Raptors’ opponents Nav Bhatia, the Toronto Raptors “Superfan,” has long expressed his appreciation of sports and its power to unite people. So when an overzealous Milwaukee Bucks fan directed racist comments against him during the Eastern Conference final last week, Bhatia chose the peaceful route over confrontation. “I know we are in a heated series but I want everyone to know regardless of what one person has said Milwaukee and its fans are incredible!” he tweeted Friday. The Milwaukee fan had earlier called him annoying and insulted his body and his religious headgear (the Twitter account was deleted shortly after Brampton East MP Raj Grewal drew attention to it).

In a bonus conversation from Inside the Green Room with Danny Green, Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia sits down with Danny and Harrison to discuss his impressive

Nav Bhatia 's Raptors fandom started when he attended the first game in franchise history. Since then it's become a key element in his acclimation process to Canada. Donnovan Bennett sits down with Nav Bhatia , the Toronto Raptors ' Superfan .

So much so that the two have promised to make dinner plans if Bhatia ever heads down to Milwaukee.

‘When somebody goes low, we go high’

Bhatia is practically a legend in the Toronto sports community. He hasn’t missed a Raptor’s home game since the team started playing in 1995, and often travels to away games to cheer Toronto on too. Throughout his nearly 25 years of cheering on the Raptors, he’s accumulated quite a fanbase of his own.

Which is why Bhatia said he wasn’t surprised with the outpouring of support from Raptors and Bucks fans when he responded to the tweet.

“We are Canadians. We know when somebody goes low, we go high.”

According to his website, his goal is to “unite people of all ages and backgrounds through the game of basketball.” He also has a non-profit foundation that raises money to build basketball courts and camps for kids in Canada and around the world.

Bhatia had a “humbling” start in Canada. Coming over from India with a mechanical engineering degree, his first job in the country was as a janitor. He then got his break working at a car dealership.

“The very first day that I started there, I was called the same names this guy put on Twitter,” he said.

The Raptors’ Jurassic Park is a racial utopia. The rest of Toronto still needs work

The Raptors’ Jurassic Park is a racial utopia. The rest of Toronto still needs work Before Drake moved to eclipse him, the most visible fan of the Toronto Raptors was Nav Bhatia, a 67-year-old auto dealership owner who has attended every home game in franchise history, and a turban-wearing Sikh whose front-row presence embodies the team’s cross-cultural appeal. And before other NBA teams started hosting post-season street parties the Raptors turned the bottom of Bremner Blvd. into Jurassic Park, where a multicoloured crowd of thousands convenes on game nights, and where basketball shatters cultural barriers between people from disparate backgrounds.

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Nav Bhatia is known as the Raptors ' superfan ,' for his intense devotion to the team. "I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't womanize, I Raptorize — that’s all I do," Bhatia told CBC News in an interview. Click on the video above to see a report from the CBC’s Lorenda Reddekopp on Bhatia and his long

Besides basketball, which he calls “the best game on this planet,” Bhatia said he’s learned to deal with discrimination through conversation.

“People were angry, and I told them not to be,” he said. “Make sure to keep communication open and convert it into a different thought process — that’s what we did.”

Bhatia and rapper/6God Drake have both been reppin’ Toronto hard as the Raptors inch ever-closer to the NBA finals. If they win their next game, the team will make history by reaching the finals for the first time ever.

Though the series might be decided on Saturday, everyone who participated in this show of good sportsmanship is already a winner.

Also on HuffPost:

This article originally appeared on HuffPost Canada.

Video Of Raptors Fans Belting Out 'O Canada' At Warriors' Arena Is Pure Joy.
From far and wide, Canadians are making their voices heard during the NBA Finals. The Toronto Raptors are two wins away from their first NBA championship, and fans are clearly excited. 

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