B.C.-born NCAA basketball player confronts fan after allegedly being called a ‘terrorist’

A B.C.-born basketball player at the University of California Berkeley went into the stands Monday to confront a fan who allegedly called him a terrorist.

Following Cal’s loss to UTEP on Monday in the SoCal Challenge held in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., head coach Mark Madsen said in a statement that Fardaws Aimaq “was allegedly subjected to abhorrent and offensive comments from a fan — including being called a terrorist.” 

“I am disturbed that Fardaws was allegedly on the receiving end of such language and I’m disappointed he confronted this fan in the stands,” Madsen said.

A video posted on X, formerly Twitter, shows Aimaq approaching a fan in the bleachers. Aimaq can be heard saying, “You wanna talk?” before leaning toward the man and pointing. The confrontation lasts less than 10 seconds.

The six-foot-11 Aimaq graduated from Steveston-London Secondary in Richmond. His parents are from Afghanistan and came to Canada as refugees. 

Madsen said he’s asked the SoCal Challenge tournament director to investigate the incident and ban the fan from the premises.

The coach and former NBA player said any consequences facing Aimaq “will be handled internally.”

Aimaq’s agent indicated on social media that the 24-year-old forward has been targeted with similar taunts in the past. 

“Fardaws Aimaq is the sweetest guy in the world, never heard of him throwing a punch or harming a fly,” Daniel Poneman wrote on X.

“But now people are making him out to be a thug because he finally spoke up, after years of this kind of abuse. The reactions always go viral, but the cause never gets addressed.”

Aimaq had 23 points and 14 rebounds in Cal’s loss to Tulane on Wednesday.

After the game, Cal teammate Jalen Cone told the media he supports Aimaq.

“The things that were said to him shouldn’t be said to anyone,” Cone said. “I think he had a great game tonight … That just shows who he is, how he can bounce back from adversity. He’s been doing that his whole life.”

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