AP Photo/David Zalubowski
- Kevin Durant had to be helped off the court after injuring his leg during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
- Initially, some Toronto Raptors fans celebrated as Durant sat injured on the court, but were quickly quieted by players who encouraged the crowd to support their injured opponent.
- In response to the crowd’s reaction, a GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help Raptors fans donate to Kevin Durant’s charity, as a way of apologizing to the Golden State Warriors superstar.
- As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the campaign had raised more than $12,000 from more than 500 donations.
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Raptors fans have raised more than $10,000 for Kevin Durant’s charity after the Warriors superstar was injured during Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto.
Durant missed the first four games of the Finals due to a calf injury and had to watch from the bench as his team fell into a 3-1 deficit against the Raptors. On Monday night, he was finally cleared to play, but after a blistering offensive start to the game, Durant suddenly went down to the floor with another injury in the second quarter and needed to be helped off the court.
At first, the Toronto crowd celebrated Durant’s injury, but in a show of great sportsmanship, the Raptors players on the court immediately scolded their behavior, imploring their fans to stop cheering the injury of their opponent. The fans seemed to answer the players’ request and wound up giving Durant a standing ovation as he left the court.
Still, it was clear that the Raptors’ fans initial reaction to seeing Durant on the floor stuck with the Warriors, who called out the fans for their behavior after the game.
But some Raptors fans have now decided to take their image into their own hands, setting up and donating to a GoFundMe campaign that is raising money for Kevin Durant’s charity as a way of apologizing to the injured Warrior.
"On behalf of the level-headed and true fans of Raptor Nation — from Toronto to Vancouver to Iqaluit to St. John’s, and any fans living outside Canada: we wanted to say ‘sorry,’" reads the campaign’s introduction. "We’re sorry that some fans of Raptor Nation at the Scotiabank arena, Jurassic Park, and in some bars/restaurants showing the game, displayed an ugly side of fandom when they cheered on the injury of Kevin Durant."
"Yes, we’re hungry for a championship however true NBA fans would never cheer on a man getting injured or wave goodbye as they limp to the locker-room area," the campaign’s description continued. "KD is a player that brings up the game of basketball."
As of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the campaign has raised over $12,000 for the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation from more than 500 donations.
While it might not have stemmed from their proudest moment, Raptors fans have made a real effort to make the best of a bad situation.
You can donate to the fund here.
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