'We go high': Raptors superfan reconciles with Bucks fan who wrote racist tweet
The Toronto Raptors “superfan” has reconciled in person with the man who directed a racist tweet at him during the spring playoffs.
Nav Bhatia, a car dealership owner who is well-known among Raptors fans as a consistent courtside presence at home games, told CTV’s Your Morning that he met with the man and his son for dinner and a game earlier this month in Milwaukee.
It was the fulfilment of a promise the two made online six months ago after the since-deleted tweet that likened Bhatia’s turban to “underwear” set off a firestorm of support for Bhatia online in May.
“From this negative situation, we changed (it) into (a) positive situation. That’s what we do. When people go low, we go high,” he said, echoing an oft-cited Michelle Obama speech.
“In the end, when we were hugging and saying goodbye, he said, ‘We are friends forever.’”
Bhatia suggested the pair go for dinner when the man called him after the incident in May to apologize. “He made a mistake. He was crying on the phone call,” recalled Bhatia on Your Morning. “I asked him about his family. He says, ‘I have a 10-year-old kid.’ I said, ‘You want to bring him up in this world like that?’”
Bhatia said the man asked for his forgiveness, to which he said he would forgive him on the condition that they have dinner and go to the Raptors game the next time Bhatia is in Milwaukee. He even got the man and his 11-year-old son into the Bucks locker room after the game so the boy could meet his favourite player, Brook Lopez.
The Raptors “superfan” felt that the response to the racist tweet was overwhelming, saying that the man was getting “killed” on social media for the comments.
“If we are going to kill him, and he did the wrong thing, what’s the difference between him and us?” he recalled thinking.
Bhatia said after this month’s dinner and a game, he invited the man to visit Canada next summer.