STILLWATER — Marcus Smart's shove of Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr prompted plenty of Twitter buzz late Saturday night and into Sunday.
One of the most prominent reactions came from former Oklahoma State star Desmond Mason.
“Some things are hard to ignore, BUT no excuses!” Mason tweeted. “Deal with your consequences. I was called the N word EVERY game I played in Lubbock!”
Mason expanded on those initial comments in an interview with NBC Sports Radio's Kup and Schultz show Sunday morning, detailing that Lubbock did provide a uniquely hostile environment for visitors during his playing career.
“That doesn't happen at Kansas,” said Mason, referring to racial slurs. “They're cheering and they're doing their thing, and you get some things (yelled at you), but nothing like that. In Lubbock, that's one of the places that I've heard racial things screamed at me on a number of different occasions in my four years at Oklahoma State …
“I know what goes on in that area. I'm not just saying it to be saying it. I've lived it. I know what it's like, and I've definitely had some of those racial things screamed at me. It's not just in Lubbock, I've had it in other places, but there are some aggressive fans there.”
Still, Mason reiterated that Smart should have kept his cool, regardless of what was said.
“He has to not react in that situation,” Mason said, “especially knowing his opportunities going forward. It's just unfortunate that it happened this way.”
Mason wasn't the only former Cowboy to speak out via Twitter. John Lucas said he remembers Orr specifically from his trips to Texas Tech.
“I just saw the video that same fan was at the games talking crazy even when I was in school,” Lucas tweeted. “I don't forget a face he says a lot of crazy ish. Was he smart by pushing the fan I would say NO. Cause he has way more to lose.
It has been many of times I wanted to go in the stands. When a fan was talking reckless about me and my family about my dads problems back in the day calling me a crack baby and all, but my fam. Always told me don't let them get to u cause most of the time they want to be you and bring you down on there level and let your game. Do the talking. And my dad always told you you can forgive but just don't forget.”
Smart expressed remorse at a press conference in Stillwater on Sunday evening. Coach Travis Ford and athletic director Mike Holder vowed to use this incident as a learning experience.
Mason echoed that sentiment, stressing that that all players — not just Smart — must learn to simply block out any hateful comments that could rain down from the stands in raucous road environments.
“I kind of found a way to make it white noise, and I think a lot of guys do do that, because it happens a lot.
“I just think if you (react), it's justifying the situation. You're validating anything that they're saying, and you're always going to look like the bad guy.”