Raptors superfan Nav Bhatia misses first home game ever after COVID exposure

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For the first time since 1995, Nav Bhatia won't be at a Toronto Raptors home game. (Getty) (Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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It's a sad and historic day for the Toronto Raptors.

Superfan Nav Bhatia said on Instagram that he will miss his first-ever Raptors home game on Friday when the team welcomes the Knicks after attending the Giants Of Africa gala on Sunday. Some of the event's guests, including Raptors president Masai Ujiri, later tested positive for COVID-19.

Bhatia has attended every single Raptors home game since the team's founding in 1995, and even received his own championship ring after Toronto's triumph in 2019.

"Unfortunately I am currently in isolation following attending the Giants Of Africa Gala," Bhatia said in an Instagram post. "It was an incredible event that followed all protocols but these things can happen. I am not experiencing any symptoms."

Actor Kal Penn, who is slated to play Bhatia in an upcoming CBC biopic, is expected to attend Friday's game against the New York Knicks at Scotiabank Arena.

"Take good care of my friend Kal Penn," Bhatia's statement read. "I want you all to show him why this is the best fanbase in the league and give him a lot of love tonight."

On Friday, Toronto Public Health posted an exposure notification on its website for fans who attended the Raptors' game against the Washington Wizards last Sunday, the same day the Giants Of Africa event took place in the city.

"It was organized in compliance with all current public health guidance — everyone who attended had to show proof of vaccination, and to wear masks when not eating or drinking," Ujiri said in a statement released via the Raptors on Thursday. "Unfortunately, after the gala, we learned of positive COVID-19 tests among our guests."

It is unclear whether Bhatia tested positive for the virus. The Raptors superfan stated that Toronto Public Health asked all attendees to self-isolate.

Although he guarantees he'll be watching and cheering from home.

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