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The Mutombo Monkey Trial


An interesting development in the saga of the loquacious fan who “inadvertently” called Dikembe Mutombo a “monkey” during last week’s Rockets-Magic game. Mr. Hooman Hamzehloui has written a formal apology to Mutombo and will not attend another Magic game until Mutombo gives him the Dikembe seal of approval. And as a gesture of good faith, Mr. Hamzehloui will also donate 5,000 dollars to a charity of Dikembe’s choice.

Here is what I find interesting: I am going to venture a guess that Mr. Hamzehloui is not of American decent. Would an American fan have apologized in such a way? I don’t think so. And I don’t know what to make of Mr. Hamzehloui’s comment that he didn’t know “monkey” was an insult. Not sure I believe that. My three cents on what I think happened: Mr. Hamzehloui works in the people business, selling homes in Orlando’s premier housing area ; any hostility with a public figure like Dikembe Mutombo would not only have been embarrassing but hurt his business, especially when Shaq and Tiger Woods both live in that part of Orlando. So Mr. Hamzehoui realizes he made a mistake, owns up to it, and gets mention on the World Wide Leader and other media outlets. That’s smart marketing. No American fan would have done that. Joe Six-Pack, Mr. Hard-Workin’ Blue-Collar Average American Fan, would have told Dikembe it’s a fan’s right to heckle and if he didn’t like it, well, he could go back to Africa. And that’s the difference between us and the rest of the world, folks. Here in America we say “Happy New Year”.

– Jordi


10 comments on The Mutombo Monkey Trial

  1. Dikembe is an asshole and the guy who apologized made out like a champ-he doesn’t have to see the magic play.

  2. First, I second rich uncle with a “Whuh? I thought He was dead!”. Second, I hate to sound like a red state living, defender of Nascar and Americans in general, but as a black man I will say without question that your average American (read: red state white guy) is waaaaay less racist against blacks than your average Asian, Cuban, Middle Easterner (pick a country), etc. The guy was savvy to apologize, period. When I saw them walking him out I was not at all surprised. I run into that guy way more than “average intolerant white American fan”. Just sayin’

  3. Mr. Hooman Hamzehloui is a Muslim. Dikembe Mutombo is a Roman Catholic.

    Muslims have been trying to forcefully convert Africans for many years, often brutally (witness Darfur).

    Lots of Muslims are racists and they HATE Africans who refuse to convert to Islam or practice other faiths.

    The Orlando fan’s animosity towards Mutombo was no accident – it is motivated by racial AND religious bigotry.

    ESPN reported that Hooman Hamzehloui has been banned by the NBA for only 1 year. That means they’ll accept his racist dollards next year? I hope his company fires him.

  4. You’re honestly saying Americans are MORE racist than people from other countries, where they routinely throw bananas on the field, or shout monkey noises, or throw up nazi salutes, or wave swastika flags, or ban the showcasing of Israeli flags, or various sundry other horrible things? When’s the last time you saw an American fan do THAT?

    I think the writer of this article needs to wise up a little, and maybe look outside of US sports and US politics to find out that America isn’t the horrible hotbed of intolerance and racism he thinks. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants flowing into America every year demonstrate that very nicely.

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