The New York Knicks have announced that they have indefinitely banned a fan for spitting at Atlanta Hawks goalie Trae Young during an NBA playoff game on Wednesday.
In a statement tweeted Thursday, the team said they identified the fan in question after conducting an investigation. This person is now banned from entering the team’s stadium in New York, Madison Square Garden, the Knicks said.
“We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for the behavior of this fan,” the statement read. “It was totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our room. We have forwarded the information to the appropriate authorities.
Hours after Wednesday night’s game, Young retweeted a widely distributed video which claimed to show someone spitting at him as he stood near the sideline.
At least two other offensive fan-related incidents occurred during NBA games on Wednesday night.
A Philadelphia 76ers fan at the city’s Wells Fargo Center threw popcorn at Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook as he left the game with an ankle injury.
“This shit is getting out of hand, especially for me,” he told ESPN after the game. “The disrespect, the number of fans doing whatever they want to do – it’s just out of their pocket.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James opened up about the incident on Wednesday night, tweeting that he and other players wanted the fan who threw the popcorn identified.
The 76ers issued a statement Thursday, noting that the person who threw popcorn at the Wizards guard is now indefinitely banned from all events at the stadium.
Utah Jazz said Thursday it has banned three of its fans indefinitely after the father of Memphis Grizzlies goalie Ja Morant told ESPN they made vulgar and racist remarks to him as he watched the game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
“My family should be able to encourage me [and] my teammates without telling them inappropriate bullshit, ”Morant tweeted Thursday.
The NBA addressed the wave of fan-related incidents in a declaration Thursday, reminding attendees of its code of conduct now that stadiums across the country have increased attendance capacities after virtually hosting fans during the pandemic.
“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought a lot of excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is essential that we all show respect for the players, officials and our fellow fans.” , said the NBA.
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