TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The incident happened after Arizona beat UCLA in a battle of top ten teams.
That's when Bruins player Mac Etienne, who didn't play because of an injury, spit into the McKale Center crowd, appearing to target 21-year-old Wildcat fan Zak Freeland.
Etienne was cited for a class three misdemeanor.
Today, Freeland is speaking out for the first time, and sharing new information.
"It's not mentioned in any stories that I've read, but he already spit at me at halftime." ~Zak Freeland
Some UCLA players and members of the ZonaZoo had been verbally sparring since before the game even started.
Freeland says his double middle finger was in retaliation to something Etienne said to him.
That's when the end of the game double-spit incident occurred.
"He spit once at halftime, and twice after the game," says Freeland.
Freeland, upset that nothing was done at halftime, told University of Arizona police he wanted to press charges.
Towards the end of our interview, Arizona Coach Tommy Lloyd happened to walk by, and Freeland introduced himself as the person that Mac Etienne spit on that night ... and apologized. We didn't catch the exchange on camera, but Lloyd thanked Freeland for apologizing for being part of the incident.
Freeland says all he wants is an apology from Etienne, something that wasn't in the UCLA statement after the incident.
UCLA statement on spitting incident: "UCLA Athletics is committed to and expects the highest level of sportsmanship. We are aware of the incident involving a student-athlete at tonight's men's basketball game, and the matter is under review."— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) February 4, 2022
--Scott Markley, UCLA spokesman
Jason Barr is a sports anchor and reporter for KGUN 9. Jason's stories have won KGUN four prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for sports reporting. He has also won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for sports reporting. Share your story ideas with Jason by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.