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How an NBA Player Handled His Fathers Racist Comments With Dignity

It's fair to note that Muscala has been a pro for almost four years now, and there hasn't been a bad word about him yet.

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A big part of growing up for a lot of kids is realizing exactly how and when their worldviews start to differ from those of their parents. It’s inevitable that children will eventually have a hard time seeing eye to eye with their folks about at least one thing, but every once and awhile a kid will have to draw a line in the sand when the disagreements start running deeper. After a racist tweet from his father, Philadelphia 76ers forward Mike Muscala got serious and spoke to a room of reporters in hopes of assuring them that he and his father don’t look at the world the same way.

Muscala’s father Bob posted a tweet about Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jimmy Butler after Butler had a highly publicized outburst during a recent practice. Butler allegedly halted practice to scream “you fucking need me!” and chided teammates for not playing hard enough. Butler has faced his share of backlash for the angry display, but that doesn’t excuse Muscala’s father calling his outburst evidence of “egomaniacal, African American mental illness.”

“I just want to say I love my dad,” Mike Muscala said. “He’s been very supportive of me throughout my life and my career. I don’t agree with what he said on social media. I’m against it. I apologize for the distraction that it’s caused. This is not a reflection of who I am.”

Though the Sixers could have simply sat on the tweets and waited for someone to dig them up, Muscala’s debut with the team is just a few weeks away, so the organization elected to get in front of the comments. Muscala was wise to avoid doing what a lot of kids in his position do, which is try and soften what his dad said, because well, that’s his dad. Muscala’s coach and teammates have faith that his dad’s comments don’t represent his son at all.

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“That comment is an unfortunate, ignorant comment,” said head coach Brett Brown. “It reflects nothing about what we are about. And it doesn’t reflect what Mike Muscala is about.”