Bradley Beal Under Investigation for Battery, Striking Angry Sports Bettor

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
03/29/2023
News
Basketball Player Holds the ball

Highlights

  • The bettor was angry at beal for “losing him $1,300”
  • Beal is said to have knocked the hat off the bettor’s head
  • Fans have been responding more angrily to athletes since sports betting was legalized

Washington Wizards guard and three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal is under investigation for confronting an unhappy sports bettor that lost money because of Beal’s performance. 

“You f***ed me [out of] $1,300, you f***!" a fan allegedly said to Beal as he walked towards the tunnel at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, the Orlando Magic’s home arena.

Beal, 29, pivoted toward the fan and is said to have knocked the hat off his head before telling the fan that his comments were “disrespectful.” The complaint was first filed on March 22, and Beal is now under official investigation.

Getting heated in Orlando

Beal responded to the fan’s expletive-laced comments in kind.

“[To] keep it a buck,” Beal said. “I don't give a f*** about none of your bets or your parlays, bro. That ain't why I play the game.”

The Wizards’ star guard and the angry man waged a war of words for a little longer before Beal was escorted down the tunnel and to the team locker room, ending the altercation. Local police are investigating Beal for battery, which is the crime of applying an unlawful application of physical force. Battery is a more serious crime than simple assault.

The back-and-forth lasted roughly one minute in total after Beal had 16 points, seven assists and five rebounds and fouled out of a 122-112 loss to the Magic on March 21.

The Magic are aware of the incident and are sitting back to let the authorities conduct their investigation. 

It’s been a tough year for Beal and the Wizards overall. With the regular season a couple of weeks away from being hemmed up, they are 33-42, 11th in the Eastern Conference and three games out of the play-in tournament. Washington has been so disappointing that sportswriter Bill Simmons labeled them “the dumbest franchise in the league this year.” 

Beal himself has had problems staying on the court, as he has for many seasons in his injury-riddled career. But despite the numerous problems, he has still played well. He is averaging 23.2 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.9 rebounds. 

Sports betting sparks tensions

Beal’s run-in with the fan represents the growing popularity of sports betting—along with the growing list of problems that come with it.

Earlier this year, University of Dayton men’s basketball coach Anthony Grant said that his players had been receiving more hate online since sports betting was legalized in Ohio at the start of the year. Other schools have had therapists and mental performance coaches speak to players about how to block out the growing noise from the sports betting crowd.

Beal’s confrontation with the fan is yet another example of players increasingly sticking up for themselves against unruly fans. As recently as Sunday afternoon, Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving had a fan removed from the Spectrum Center amid a clash between the Mavs and Charlotte Hornets. LeBron James and other stars have also had fans tossed in the past for making disrespectful comments.

A few weeks ago, Irving also said during a Twitch stream that sports betting had “taken the purity and fun away” from basketball. Memphis Grizzlies guard and three-time NBA champion, Danny Green, shared similar sentiments and said that sports betting can “ruin some friendships and some households.”

Despite the concerns, the NBA has struck deals with FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM, among other companies, to serve as sports betting partners. It’s also hard to imagine a world in which sports and legal sports betting aren't further intermingled as every major professional sports league in America is aligning itself with the sports betting industry.

The investigation into Beal’s encounter with the Magic fan is still open. He and the Wizards will play their next game at home Friday evening against, guess who, Orlando.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.