A fan is suing Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal and the team over a postgame incident March 21 in Orlando, Florida, alleging battery and assault and asking for damages exceeding $50,000.
Plaintiff Kyler Briffa of Orange County, Florida, filed suit Tuesday in Florida's 9th Circuit Court. The suit alleges that after the Wizards lost to the Orlando Magic at Amway Center, Beal was headed to the locker room when he reacted to a remark made by a friend of Briffa's about losing a bet, turned around and hit Briffa on the side of his head, knocking his hat off. According to the police report on the incident, Briffa's friend remarked to Beal, "You made me lose $1,300, you f---."
The suit alleges that during the confrontation, Beal told Briffa, "When you disrespect me, I'm going to press you about it. Do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke, do you think this is a joke ... because when I press you about it, what are we doing? What are we doing? What are we doing?"
Florida police reported the complaint to the state attorney's office. A spokesperson from the state attorney's office confirmed a pending civil case but said the office does "not disseminate information regarding active and ongoing investigations."
Beal addressed the incident in a postseason news conference, saying, "Nobody wants to lose money. I get it. If you keep it about sports, I'm all for it. But I think it's when people start getting personal, talking about your family, talking about your character, your integrity towards the game. I think all of that, we can save it. We can really keep those comments to ourselves."
He added that he has noticed a bit more nastiness related to sports gambling in the past few years. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia now offer regulated betting markets. Capital One Arena in Washington, home to the Wizards, was the first NBA venue to open a sportsbook inside the stadium.
"I understand. I go to casinos; I gamble; I understand that. But I also understand it's probably a 99% chance I'm going to lose," Beal told reporters April 10. "I'm not sitting here about to get angry at the dealer or angry at everybody else."
The Wizards declined comment when reached by ESPN on Wednesday.