A fan who threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook has been banned indefinitely from the Wells Fargo Center.
According to the Associated Press, a fan who hurled popcorn at Washington Wizards star player Russell Westbrook during Wednesday night’s NBA playoff game against the 76ers was banned indefinitely from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Thursday.
After Westbrook suffered an ankle injury and had to leave the game, a fan tossed popcorn at him. The 76ers have barred the fan from attending any future events at the Wells Fargo Center.
The 76ers issued a statement saying, “We regret to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unprofessional and disrespectful behavior.” “It has no place in our sport or in our arena.”
The NBA stated that fan behavior laws will be “vigorously enforced” and backed the 76ers. The league has had difficulties with fan behavior at its building in the past, and Westbrook, who has dealt with fans before, said Wednesday night that the stadia “had to start protecting the players.”
See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
After a regular season in which attendance was severely limited due to regulations put in place to keep players and others safe during the pandemic, NBA venues are greeting their greatest crowds of the season for the playoffs.
It hasn’t been without issues, and players have expressed their dissatisfaction.
The popcorn incident occurred on the same night that fans at Madison Square Garden threw vulgar chants toward Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, exactly as they had done in the series opener there on Sunday.
And, ahead of Game 3 of the Nets’ series against the Celtics in Boston on Friday night, Brooklyn star Kyrie Irving expressed his expectation that the atmosphere there would be “purely basketball,” with “no belligerence or any racism going on, subtle racism, people chanting [expletive]from the crowd.”
“The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought great excitement and enthusiasm to the start of the playoffs,” the NBA said on Thursday. “However, it is vital that we all show respect for players, officials, and our fellow fans.”
Westbrook was involved in a high-profile incident in which a fan in Utah was accused of hurling racial slurs at him. Westbrook was fined $25,000 for his actions following the event. This is a condensed version of the information.