Juliana Carlos, the woman escorted out of the Atlanta Hawks game on Monday night after getting into a courtside dispute with Los Angles Lakers star LeBron James, issued an apology late Tuesday, saying she takes “full responsibility.”
Carlos, her husband Chris and two other people were taken out by security during the fourth-quarter after they engaged in a verbal dispute on the court. Carlos, 25, was heavily criticized after she was pictured pulling her mask down to shout obscenities at James.
“About last night… To say things escalated quickly at yesterday’s game is an understatement, and I want to apologize for losing my cool and removing my mask in the heat of the moment,” she said in a statement posted to her social media.
“My husband is a huge sports fan and we’re passionate people, and let’s be real: sports wouldn’t be sports without a little trash-talking. What should have been a quick back-and-forth between two adults got out of hand and my natural instinct to stand up for the man I love kicked in.”
James addressed the incident in his postgame presser and said that it began as a back-and-forth before a third person got involved, likely referring to Carlos.
“There was a back-and-forth between two grown men and we said our piece. He said his piece, I said my piece and then when someone else jumped into it and said their peace but I didn’t think they should’ve been kicked out.”
The four-time NBA Champion coyly suggested that alcohol may have been the trigger for Carlos’ aggression.
“They might have had a couple drinks, maybe,” he said. “And they could have probably kept it going during the game, and the game wouldn’t have been about the game no more, so I think the referees did what they had to do.”
Carlos initially took a strong stand against James in a series of profanity-laced tirades posted to her social media. She has since deleted those videos.
“Did I get defensive when that happened? Yes. Did I use offensive language when I could have taken the higher road? Yes. And for these things I take full responsibility.”
The Hawks are currently investigating the incident but have said that the interaction will not affect having fans attend home games.