NBA superstar Bradley Beal is having a difficult season compared to his usual high standards. Reports indicate the Washington Wizards shooting guard did not take kindly to the most recent criticism that came his way.
The Orlando Police Department is currently investigating Beal in connection with an incident that took place following the Wizards’ road loss to the Orlando Magic on March 21. According to the police report, a disgruntled sports bettor accosted Beal as he was leaving the Amway Center court and shouted, “You f**ked me [out of] $1,300, you f**k!” In response, Beal allegedly approached the fan, knocked off his hat, and made contact with the left side of his head.
The Wizards have released a statement acknowledging the situation and Beal’s attorney has declared that the NBA player is cooperating with authorities and expects his name to be cleared soon.
Florida does not currently have legalized sports betting, though Governor Ron DeSantis has attempted to pass legislation allowing the activity in the past. The state and federal courts have yet to decide on a new agreement between the Seminole Tribe and the governor that would allow sports betting on tribal lands and over the internet.
Beal was not performing well on the court during the game against the Magic, shooting four for 15 with zero three-point shots. He ended the game with 16 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, though he also committed two turnovers and fouled out in the fourth quarter.
The Orlando Police Department is now looking to the public for cell phone footage of the incident between Beal and the fan. Beal’s average points per game this season is 23, a decrease from the 30.5 and 31.3 he scored in the previous two seasons.
Concerns about player safety have been raised in relation to legal sports betting, with the Players’ Association, a collective of athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS, advocating for provisions in state regulations that permanently ban bettors who take their losses out on players. The association recently pointed out that, “The sports betting industry is built on the backs of the players.”