It seems Zayn Malik was involved in a verbal altercation that nearly turned into a full-blown brawl.

In a recent video posted by TMZ, the 28-year-old artist is seen shirtless on a sidewalk exchanging some heated words with an unidentified man. The clip doesn’t show the events leading up to the confrontation, as it begins in the middle of the men’s screaming match. You can see the two shouting profanities and lunging at each other, as others attempt to deescalate the situation and keep them apart. 

Insiders reportedly told TMZ that the altercation took place at around 2 a.m. Friday outside Amsterdam Billiards Club in the East Village. Malik was reportedly outside smoking a cigarette when the other man exited a nearby bar and allegedly picked a fight with the singer. Sources said the fight never escalated into physical blows, and police were not involved.

“Zayn is in here a lot and we absolutely love having him,” a co-owner of Amsterdam Billiards Club told Page Six. “He was here for a few hours playing pool and ping-pong with a bunch of people, and there were no problems. I heard that the [scuffle] started over the guy wanting a photo, but I’m not sure. It happened outside. We gave him an Amsterdam Billiards T-shirt and are bummed he wasn’t wearing it outside!”

At one point during the video, you can hear the man call Malik a homophobic slur, which prompts the artist to shout back, “I’m a [F-word]?” The incident sparked a heated debate across social media about whether Malik was in the wrong for repeating the slur.

zayn definitely should not have said the f slur but y’all are changing the entire narrative. he was CALLED the f slur by the man and he repeated it during the fight in the heat of the moment saying “i am a f slur?” so don’t make him out to be homophobic when he’s not

— mors #1 taryn stan (@wilIowtalk) June 4, 2021

"Zayn said the f slur" yeah he basically repeated what that yt guy said first (which he shouldn't have) and he was clearly defending himself ,but why did that guy call him the f slur in first place...lets talk about that. You all are trying to cancel the WRONG PERSON

— vee flop era🌸 (@sabby_zx) June 4, 2021

this is the only thing i’m saying about this situation. yes hold him accountable! cancel him?? no! i personally as a gay man felt no personal offense to this. do other people? yes and they have that right to feel that way. you can blatantly her the other guy call zayn the f slur

— Love, Justin (@tiohabit) June 4, 2021

people on instagram defending zayn malik saying the f slur is so weird… especially when they’re not part of the lgbt community… ESPECIALLY DURING PRIDE MONTH

— brandon🪐 (@NanaMiraj) June 4, 2021

Malik and his team have yet to publicly address the altercation.