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Issel crosses the line

December 12th, 2001 by aswitzer

Coach Dan Issel crossed the line last night after another frustrating Nuggets loss. Just after the home loss to the Charlotte Hornets, Issel was walking just in front of point guard Nick Van Exel. A fan yelled down to Issel as he was just about to walk under the tunnel to the Nuggets locker-room. Issel paused and looked up at the fan as Van Exel tried unsuccessfully to push Issel forward. Issel then yelled up at the fan to “Hey, go buy another beer. Go drink another beer, you…”.

Issel crossed the line by specifically targeting the fan’s ethnic background along with obscenities.

Dan, Dan. Everyone know you are frustrated – hey, we fans are just as frustrated! But, you just can’t cross the line into a racial slur, no matter what provoked it.

The team and league is looking into the punishment – a 10 day suspension is being considered. No comment from Issel has been available as of yet. Denver’s local channel 9 plans to interview Issel live at 12:30 PM MST.

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3 Responses to “Issel crosses the line”

  1. Wavatar David Cramer Says:

    I am quite upset by the the suspension of Dan Issel. What gives a person the right to harass Dan verbally and get away with it leaving Dan to carry all the blame. If anything, the person at the game who yelled out to Dan is just as much to blame as Dan is.
    As for the Hispanic Community coming down on Dan for saying racial comments, ervery day I hear racial comments towards whites, blacks and other groups from hispanics. Apparently the hispanic community has the right to insult anyone they please yet the rest of us have no rights to answer back.

  2. Wavatar aswitzer Says:

    David – yes, I’ve heard that side of the argument too. My take on it is that in Dan’s position, he has a greater responsibility than the rest of us do to the community because he represents the organization of the Denver Nuggets. It’s part of the burden of his position – that he has to be perfect. If you or I said the same thing (I hope we never would) then we would be in the wrong, but we would not make national news. So, I agree with the suspension, because it does send the message that this sort of thing is not tolerated. In a perfect world, the fan that taunted Dan would be punished fairly also, but he still didn’t deserve the ethnic slur that he incited from Dan.

  3. Wavatar Carlos A. Martinez Says:

    While I do not agree with the reaction Issel had with the fan, I don’t think that firing him for one mistake is the right call.
    Had Issel not apologized, then maybe there would be reason to persue this further.
    This is being blown out of more than it has to be and I believe that at some point many people use duragatory remarks, do they expect to lose their job or be punished harshly? What no one has come out and reported is what this individual was saying to Issel to have him react in this fashion. I don’t care what the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce thinks about this incident, if they can’t accept an apology from a person who has a spotless track record otherwise, then their head of structure need to be replaced. Issel made a mistake and as a 100% American-Mexican, I believe he has reacted accordingly and there is no more to be discussed on this matter. I will fight anyone on this topic for the Denver Nuggets. Punishment has been assessed and that is all that is necessary for me.

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