Basketball player confronts fan after being called ‘terrorist’

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Cal head men’s basketball coach Mark Madsen issued a statement on Wednesday after a video went viral of forward Fardaws Aimaq confronting a fan after a game on Monday. 

According to Madsen and Aimaq’s agent, the fan called Aimaq a “terrorist” and other offensive comments before the confrontation. 

The incident happened after Cal lost on a buzzer-beater to UTEP at the SoCal Challenge in San Juan Capistrano. 

The video shows Aimaq approaching the fan in the bleachers, sticking a finger in his face, and saying something to him before walking away. 

Daniel Poneman, Aimaq’s agent, said the fan told Aimaq to “leave the country” in addition to calling him a terrorist. 

Aimaq was raised in Canada, but his parents are from Afghanistan. 

“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 part. “I am disturbed that Fardaws was allegedly on the receiving end of such language, and I’m disappointed that he confronted the fan in the stands.”

Madsen said he called for the SoCal Challenge to investigate the incident and for the fan to be banned from the event. He also mentioned internal “consequences” that will come from the incident.

“Fardaws understands my expectations for how he as a student-athlete conducts himself,” he said. “The consequences related to this situation will be managed internally.”

“Fardaws Aimaq is the sweetest guy in the world, never heard of him throwing a punch or harming a fly. But now people are making him out to be a thug because he finally spoke up, after years of this kind of abuse. The reactions always go viral, but the cause never gets addressed,” Poneman said.

Cal plays another SoCal Challenge game against Tulane on Wednesday night.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.