Cal football player allegedly targeted with ‘terrorist’ insult prior to altercation

Myron MedcalfESPN Staff WriterNov 23, 2023, 01:00 AM ET2 Minute Read

Cal has requested the organizers of a West Coast holiday tournament to prohibit a fan who allegedly directed a “terrorist” slur at Fardaws Aimaq before the sixth-year forward confronted him in the stands.

A video circulating on social media captures Aimaq, the son of Afghan refugees from Vancouver, British Columbia, approaching a fan in the crowd after Cal’s 75-72 loss to UTEP on Monday in the SoCal Challenge. Aimaq can be seen leaning toward the man and pointing his finger at him while he talks to him.

Cal coach Mark Madsen stated on Wednesday that Aimaq confronted the fan after reportedly being subjected to offensive language during and after the game.

“Throughout and after Monday’s game, Fardaws Aimaq was allegedly subjected to abhorrent and offensive comments from a fan — including being called a terrorist,” Madsen said. “I have asked the SoCal Challenge tournament director that a formal investigation be conducted and that this fan be barred from the premises.”

Aimaq’s agent, Daniel Poneman, mentioned that the fan continued to heckle Aimaq even after the game before he met with his family.

Aimaq, a 6-foot-11 transfer from Texas Tech, is averaging 16 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for Cal, his fourth school. He grew up in Canada, where his parents settled after fleeing the Soviet-Afghan War.

Madsen, who is in his first season at Cal, condemned the language allegedly used by the fan but also indicated that Aimaq will face repercussions for confronting the man in the stands.

“Fardaws and I had an important conversation today about how he needs to maintain his composure regardless of what takes place in a game or what is said to him directly,” Madsen said in the statement. “I am disturbed that Fardaws was allegedly on the receiving end of such language, and I’m disappointed that he confronted this fan in the stands. Fardaws understands my expectations for how he as a student-athlete conducts himself. The consequences related to this situation will be managed internally.”


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