UPDATE: Richard Harkaway issued a public statement Thursday evening acknowledging that he was the fan who flipped off Russell Westbrook, and apologizing for the act. See below.
The latest viral sensation in Philadelphia sports isn't a spectacular play made by a great athlete. It's a urologist.
Richard Harkaway, a urologist for a medical practice with offices at Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia, is the fan who spent heaven knows how much money to sit in one of the most expensive seats in the Wells Fargo Center for the 76ers' season opener, then flipped off Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook with both hands.
Harkaway was rightly ejected from his seat by venue security staff. Though as Keith Pompey reported, it appears he was allowed to remain in the arena and watch the rest of the game.
Even more rightly, Harkaway was mocked by ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy live on national television.
Here's the video:
Someone near the filming fan - possibly the camera operator himself, but it's not quite clear - shouts: "You're going to be an internet hero!"
The departing Harkaway then gets up close with the camera, says, "You like that?" and pumps his fists.
There's also video of Westbrook saying something to Harkaway, right before the fan delivered his obscene gesture:
Harkaway's identity was first reported by Crossing Broad. Perhaps not surprisingly, his practice - Urological Consultants of Southeastern Pennsylvania - took quite a few phone calls on Thursday that had nothing to do with medical matters.
Early Thursday evening, Harkaway issued a statement accepting responsibility for his actions.
"As a part-time comedian I realize that my words and actions are sometimes inappropriate," Harkaway said in a statement to Philly.com issued by a personal representative. "In this instance, after standing up to boo and being provoked by Russell Westbrook calling attention to my being overweight, my action in response was clearly inexcusable and I am embarrassed. I sincerely apologize to my fellow Sixers fans, the Sixers organization, my colleagues and patients, and to Mr. Westbrook for my behavior."
Harkaway has "voluntary privileges" at Einstein but he is not an employee of the health system, hospital spokesman Damien Woods said.
When not at work, Harkaway moonlights as a comedian at a number of local clubs. He has a history of opening for Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling, including at the RRazz Room at the Prince Theater in Center City, and has been known to joke about his weight.