A viral video has emerged that shows a University of Arizona basketball player appearing to brushing a cheerleader's breast during a post game incident. The video has sparked fierce criticism among many, while several social media users are also trying to defend the basketball player saying that it was not intentional.
The incident involves Wildcats star player Bennedict Mathurin and a TCU Showgirl, whose breasts were touched by the athlete on Sunday night following the game in San Diego. The video has since gone viral. Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU have been in communication since then and are still confused about what exactly happened.
Intentional or Unintentional?
Following the Wildcats' 85-80 overtime victory against TCU in the NCAA Tournament's second round, video appears to show Mathurin stroking the Showgirl's chest on his way to the locker room. TCU's spirit squads were positioned on the court in front of a TCU fan section, and the tunnel to the Arizona locker room was located there.
In footage that have gone viral on social media, some have speculated over whether he intentionally touched the chest of a TCU performer as he exited the court.
Just seconds before the awkward incident, Mathurin, 19, was pictured raising his arms in celebration of Arizona's 85-80 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday. However, the guard may have underestimated the amount of room he had to stretch his arms as he exited the court.
Interestingly, no one is sure what happened as it's not clear from the video. Moreover, Mathurin hasn't addressed the video.
Mathurin, a 6-foot-6 sophomore guard from Montreal, Canada, is projected to be drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft this summer. In Arizona's win over TCU, he equaled his season high with 30 points.
Arizona, the South Region's top seed, went to the Sweet 16. On Thursday night in San Antonio, UA will meet 5-seed Houston.
However, what has made Mathurin the talk of the town is his video.
While his university authorities and TCU try to determine what happened, videos of the incident have gone viral on social media, with Twitter users wondering whether Mathurin should be reprimanded or if what happened was an accident.
"He was celebrating with both arms extended, didn't see her until late, and clearly moved his left arm back as he put it down," one Twitter user wrote on Monday.
"IF he touched her (probably didn't), he was clearly trying to avoid it. This is a non-issue that you shouldn't legitimize by acknowledging," wrote another user.
TCU cheerleaders were too close to the court exit, according to another user, and they should have moved.
Others questioned whether Mathurin had even touched the cheerleader, claiming that the video's depth of field may have manipulated the scene to represent something that didn't happen.
Meanwhile, several people blamed Mathurin for the event, claiming that the video was not taken seriously enough. "Looked like he was instinctively giving a hand slap or shake, on his way to the locker... maybe there's another angle," wrote one user accusing Mathurin.
"This cannot go away. He needs to be held responsible for his actions," user Mike Regalado tweeted.