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Why did Canadian crowd cheer Durant's injury in NBA Finals game?

Last Updated Jun 11, 2019 at 11:42 am PST

FILE - Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry (7) tries a shot over Golden State Warriors Draymond Green in the last seconds of Game 5 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Monday June 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Kevin Durant, clearly in discomfort, was down, clutching his right ankle as thousands of Toronto fans cheered

A UBC Sociologist says a crowd dynamic makes people behave differently

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s a moment that is being condemned around the basketball world – Raptors fans celebrating as a Golden State Warriors star player was carried off the court during Monday’s NBA Finals game in Toronto.

For anyone watching on TV, it was a bit sickening to see.

Kevin Durant, clearly in discomfort, was down, clutching his right ankle as thousands of Toronto fans in attendance cheered. Some even waved goodbye as Durant was taken off the court.

While UBC Sociologist Rima Wilkes admits she didn’t watch the game, she says there’s something about a crowd dynamic that prompts certain people to act in ways they never would as an individual.

“You would never normally be happy that someone got injured. That’s just not a normal thing for most of us,” she says. “Sometimes we find mobs kind of frightening because people lose their humanity in the mob.”

Wilkes highlights the importance of maintaining your inner moral compass, regardless of what the crowd around you.

RELATED: Raptors fall to Warriors in Game 5 of NBA Finals, force Game 6

As Canadian sports fans, we may hold ourselves in high regard. However, Wilkes suggests it may be time to look in the mirror.

“I don’t think we’ve got some moral high ground as Canadians. We like to think we do, but we just don’t on anything, so we do need that humility,” she says. “That we’re just like everyone else.”

If anyone does emerge looking good in this situation, Wilkes says it’s the Raptors players who urged the crowd to stop celebrating Durant’s injury.

“It suggests to me that the Toronto players have a higher moral compass than the Toronto fans, I would say,” she adds.

“The takeaway is always to, for everyone to just remember who you are, and where you are shouldn’t matter.”