Yesterday during two separate games, NBA fans crossed the line. In Philadephia, Russell Westbrook was the target while in New York, Trae Young was.
As Westbrook was leaving the court with an injury, a fan above the tunnel leading to Washington’s locker room, dumbed popcorn on Westbrook.
Not surprisingly, Westbrook was irate as multiple security guards had to hold him back from attempting to confront the fan.
Russell Westbrook appeared to have popcorn poured on his head by a fan on his way to the locker room with an apparent injury.
The fan was ejected from the game. pic.twitter.com/WgtvKMFYHH
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 27, 2021
After the game, Westbrook addressed the situation and spoke on the repeated disrespect he gets from fans on the road.
“I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head because you know what happens,” Westbrook said “… In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
Also, LeBron James tweeted the league needed to find the individual who poured popcorn on Westbrook.
By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the ? was on the other ??.? #ProtectOurPlayers
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 27, 2021
Not only did the league find the fan, but they also banned him.
“After an investigation into the incident that occurred at last night’s game, we have determined that the person involved will have his season ticket membership revoked, effectively immediately,” shared Valerie Camillo, Wells Fargo Center’s president of business operations. “In addition, he will be banned from all events at Wells Fargo Center indefinitely. We apologize to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unacceptable and disrespectful behavior. there is no place for it in our sport or arena.”
Knicks fan toward Trae Young
A fan at Madison Square Garden also received a ban from the arena. The unnamed fan can be seen on video spitting on Trey Young while he was inbounding the ball during the fourth period.
Everyone is talking about the Sixers fan dumping popcorn on Westbrook, but let’s not ignore the Knicks fan spitting on Trae Young pic.twitter.com/HWioRIs8Al
— Guru (@DrGuru_) May 27, 2021
“We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young, and for that reason, he is now banned from The Garden indefinitely,” the Knicks franchise said. “We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan’s behavior. This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to the appropriate authorities,” the team said.
Young’s dad, Ray Young, addressed not only his son being spit on, but the fan throwing popcorn at Westbrook as well.
Gotta get this under control. @russwest44 gets popcorn thrown on him & @TheTraeYoung gets spat on. I can deal with all the chants about my son, it comes with it. But this needs to be addressed.@NBAonTNT @NBA @espn @nyknicks @NBATheJump https://t.co/0WoO5jtAc2
— Ray Young (@rayfordyoung) May 27, 2021
The league released the following statement on fan behavior:
The NBA just released the following statement on fan behavior: pic.twitter.com/Kij6hoT2Pn
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) May 27, 2021
Managing Editor of The Ball Out.