L.A. Clippers player Patrick Patterson hit the streets of Bev Hills with his wife this week ... in the wake of a social media war that erupted over their interracial marriage.
Some quick background -- Patterson posted an anniversary message to his wife Sarah on IG back in October ... which didn't go over well with one of his followers who suggested Sarah only married him because he's an NBA player.
"I bet she’s the only one in her family history to date a black. Stay woke my guy."
Patterson clapped back -- saying, "So I should settle for a bulldog and act like I’m happy with my life and preach ‘keep it in your race’ to the world as if Dr. King didn’t fight/die for equality, acceptance, all cultures loving one another, and no hate? No thanks. That may be your life but I don’t want that for mine or for my family. Color doesn’t matter. Wake up."
People were furious with Patterson, claiming the "bulldog" comment was insulting to black women.
30-year-old Patterson -- a 1st round pick in the 2010 NBA Draft -- apologized and said the comment was only directed at the commenter's wife ... but acknowledges he shouldn't have used the term in the first place.
Now, Patterson tells TMZ Sports he and his wife are trying to move on from the controversy -- saying, "At the end of the day, what happened, happened. I apologized for it, I would just like to leave it at that."
We asked Patterson if he and his wife are treated differently in real life as opposed to social media.
"The only experience that matters is the one that I share with my wife right here and that's the love we share. At the end of the day, nothing else matters."
"Social media is one thing, it's a different animal. The real world's a whole new animal, so each aspect is different from another in their own way."
As far as moving forward, Patterson says ... "It happened, you can only deal with it so that's what I'm trying to do. Live day by day with my wife and try to enjoy our life together."