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Montrezl Harrell called out ‘dummies’ for insulting his late grandmother on social media after Lakers were eliminated

Lakers center Montrezl Harrell is still mourning the death of the grandmother who raised him, and social media trolls haven’t made it easier.

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Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Six Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Let’s make this clear up front: I love Lakers fans, and I don’t think there is a greater percentage of bad actors within this fanbase than any other one. Lakers fans are just larger in number, and as such, there are a directly proportional extra number of assholes.

This has been clear for the last year especially, from social media trolling of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting so widespread that then-teammate Dwight Howard felt he had to publicly intervene, to Danny Green and his fiancee getting death threats on social media after he missed a potential game-winner in the NBA Finals, to fans who started petitions saying that Green and Kyle Kuzma shouldn’t get rings when the Lakers won the title.

Does stuff like that happen with other fanbases? Certainly. But it doesn’t mean we don’t need to get our own house in order, or to call out things we see that cross a line, whether they’re said by Lakers fans or not. And, unfortunately, the latest opportunity to do so is now.

At exit interviews on Friday, Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell was asked about the loss of his grandmother last year, and how he’s doing. For those unaware, Harrell was raised by his grandma, had to leave the NBA Bubble for a month last year to mourn her loss, and dedicated his 2020 Sixth Man of the Year award to her memory, saying that she inspired his love of basketball.

Harrell has tried to let his sadness fuel positivity, buying the daycare his aunt worked at and naming it after his grandma, but he also has clearly and openly struggled with grief this year, getting so down at one point that Lakers governor Jeanie Buss went to her first game of the season just to give Harrell a hug.

“I find every day challenging, brother,” Harrell said on Friday. “Especially when there’s dummies out there, heartless people who get on social media and just say the things that they say. I still get people, even to last night had people have the nerve to get on social media and say ‘f my grandmother.’ Which they wouldn’t dare say to my face in any circumstance.”

You can hear his voice start to change while talking about it (starting around the 5:40 mark of this video):

And Harrell is telling the truth. A quick Twitter search revealed that there are still people harassing him over the loss of the woman who raised him, and that surely isn’t the only platform where he’s seen such despicable and vile expressions of the deepest and grossest levels of anonymous hate from cowards hiding behind keyboards.

Now, nearly everyone reading this is surely aware of how wrong and unacceptable all that is, but when we see others doing it, we have to call them out. No matter what you think of a player’s game, there are lines we as human beings can’t and shouldn’t cross.

For Harrell’s part, he just says he’s trying to ignore the outside hate and his internal sadness, and focus on the positives in his life.

“I still deal with a lot of it to this day, brother, but it’s okay. Every day is tough, but it’s okay, I still prevail, man. I have two beautiful kids, I have a great family around me man, and I continue to grow as a man. So whatever anybody feels that they want to do to try and tear me down, you can’t,” Harrell said. “My grandmother watches over me every day, and I’m walking with a different type of blessing every day I wake up.

“I’m still struggling to this day man. It’s still tough for me to talk about to this day. You see my voice and how the pitch of how I talk changes. But it’s okay man. I will continue to keep walking in faith with God and continue to put my best foot forward, brother. It’s all I can do.”

And all we can do is show Harrell that there are a lot more good Laker fans than bad actors, whether the latter trolls are actually Laker fans or not. So show him some support on Twitter or Instagram today, and let him know that there are a lot more good people in this world than bad ones.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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