Oklahoma State University basketball star Marcus Smart should never have shoved a fan who mouthed off, and he's lucky his career is likely to be unaffected, says David Swerdlick, a columnist and contributing editor for The Root.com.
"Based on the facts that we know now, there was no cause for Smart to shove the fan," Swerdlick told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"Smart should be very thankful to his teammates for grabbing him, getting out of the situation before it escalated. To that fan's credit, what was initially reported as racial turned out to not be a racial comment.
"That said, that fan should come under similar scrutiny to Smart, because a guy dives into the stands after a ball and then you're taunting him," Swerdlick said Tuesday.
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Smart, an All-American player, has been suspended for the Cowboys' next three games as punishment for the shoving incident during Saturday's 65-61 loss to Texas Tech.
He has apologized for the confrontation, although it remains unclear what words were exchanged.
"[The] three-game suspension. That's okay. That's reasonable . . . It's not going to ruin his season, but it did look, for a moment, like people were talking about this [like it] was just some horrific thing that had happened and that he should be out for the rest of the regular season," Swerdlick said.
"If that had happened, it would've been totally out of proportion."
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