NBA Star Bradley Beal Probed for Response to Disgruntled Sports Bettor

Posted on: March 29, 2023, 09:23h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2023, 11:02h.

NBA superstar Bradley Beal is having an off year by his high standards. The Washington Wizards shooting guard allegedly didn’t take too kindly to the latest criticism directed his way.

Bradley Beal sports bettor fan incident NBA
Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal is the subject of a police investigation in Orlando. A fan who said Beal’s poor performance against the Orlando Magic cost him a sports bet alleges that the NBA player responded physically after the game at the Amway Center in Orlando on March 21, 2023. (Image: Getty)

Following the Wizards’ road loss to the Orlando Magic last Tuesday, March 21, an angry sports bettor took his frustration out on Beal. The incident happened as the player was making his way from the Amway Center court to the locker rooms.

You f**ked me [out of] $1,300, you f**k,” the fan allegedly shouted at Beal, according the police report. Beal allegedly responded to the disgruntled fan by walking toward him.

The fan eventually made a complaint with the Orlando Police Department. He alleges that Beal slapped  him, causing his hat to come off. The fan claims Beal made physical contact with the left side of his head.

“We are aware of the situation regarding Bradley Beal in Orlando, but won’t have further comment until we’ve gathered more information,” the Wizards said in a statement.

An attorney representing Beal told TMZ, “We are cooperating with the investigation and Bradley’s name will be cleared soon.”

Florida doesn’t have legal sports betting, though Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has tried to legalize it in the past. In April 2021, DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe reached an agreement to expand the tribe’s permissible gaming to include sports betting.

The updated tribal compact has since been contested and held up in state and federal courts. Two pari-mutuel racinos in Florida argue the pact to allow the Seminole Tribe to operate sports betting on its sovereign lands and over the internet violates the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Lackluster Performance

During the Wizards’ 122-112 loss to the Magic, Beal struggled on the floor. He shot just four for 15, including zero for four from behind the arc.

Beal finished with 16 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. But he also turned the ball over twice and fouled out of the game in the fourth quarter. Beal didn’t speak with the media following the loss.

The Orlando Police Department report, as detailed by the unidentified fan, alleges that Beal responded during the incident, “I don’t give a f**k about none of your bets or your parlays, bro! That ain’t why I play the game.”

Beal was then ushered to the locker room by team personnel. The fan told police he wished to press charges. Law officers filed a report for simple battery and are now investigating the matter.

Police are asking for the public’s help in providing cell phone footage of the incident between Beal and the fan.

Beal is averaging 23 points a game this season, down from the 30.5 points a game he averaged during the 2019-20 season, and less than the 31.3 points per game averaged during his 2020-21 campaign. Beal also averaged 23 points a game last season.

Player Safety

Legal sports betting has spread across the US since May 2018, when the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports gambling that limited the activity to Nevada. The NBA, along with the NFL, MLB, and NHL, had for decades opposed legal sports betting. That opposition was based on claims that permitting betting would jeopardize the integrity of their competitions.

Players also raised concerns about their safety. The Players’ Association, a collective of players from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS, is a group that lobbies state governments to provide player protections in their sports gambling regulations.

During Massachusetts’ recent liberalization of sports betting, The Players’ Association urged the state to include provisions that permanently ban bettors who take their losses out on players, whether it be verbally or physically.

“The sports betting industry is built on the backs of the players,” the group said last month in a statement.