St. John's Edge fans accuse London Lightning star Royce White of making homophobic slurs
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London Lightning star player Royce White is turning the tables on the fans of the St. John's Edge, denying he called them homophobic slurs on Saturday and claiming they taunted his mental health.
It's an allegation some fans seated near the Lightning bench are denying on social media, while reiterating they heard White yell the word "faggot" at several people.
The allegations all centre on Game 3 of their best-of-seven series, which London won by a 101-86 score.
Statement from Royce White. <a href="https://t.co/UG8ZOxxUs2">pic.twitter.com/UG8ZOxxUs2</a>—@LondonLightning
White, meanwhile, "unequivocally den(ies) any allegations of homophobic slurs during our last game."
He admits he did yell in the direction of the fans, but only in response to their heckling and not to say anything insensitive.
White, who suffers from general anxiety disorder and has been open about it in the past, claims the Edge fans were taunting him for his condition.
I was three rows back and directly behind this. Saw and heard the whole thing. One thing to be emotional and a jerk on the court, quite another to repeatedly harass a group of fans. He could have EASILY stayed on his bench and not escalated this situation.—@nlsold
"These slurs were yelled from a number of fans for a continual period during the game," he said. "This type of heckling from fans is not acceptable."
The National Basketball League of Canada says it investigated the allegations of homophobic slurs and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Anderson was hanging off you, you looked at three or four of the fans and said 'shut up faggot', 'shut up faggot'. I'm not easily offended I was just taken back that a professional athlete would say that.<br><br>Then I did my research on you and wasn't too surprised afterall—@DickieNL
Despite this, two fans who were seated near the Lightning bench and have been outspoken on social media since the incident said they were not contacted by the league, despite tweeting their version of events at the commissioner and the NBL Canada Twitter accounts.
The London Lightning said they got signed statements from "multiple witnesses, including non-biased third party individuals" and agreed with the league's investigation.
Game 5 of the series is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Mile One Centre, with both teams tied with two wins each.
London Lightning offical statement. <a href="https://t.co/KS31593sYT">pic.twitter.com/KS31593sYT</a>—@LondonLightning