The Spectator

NBA fans must chill out

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Scott Procter

More stories from Scott Procter

Take Two
May 10, 2018

The issue of unruly fans in NBA arenas must be addressed

Fans+must+realize+exactly+what+they+are+and+stop+egging+on+athletes+to+avoid+confrontation.++%0D%0A
Fans must realize exactly what they are and stop egging on athletes to avoid confrontation.

Fans must realize exactly what they are and stop egging on athletes to avoid confrontation.

SUBMITTED

SUBMITTED

Fans must realize exactly what they are and stop egging on athletes to avoid confrontation.

Advertisement

National Basketball Association (NBA) fans up close and personal proximity to the court is a privilege that no other fans of major sports can enjoy. Baseball stadiums have a wall around the field that can rise to anywhere north of 10 feet. Fans at football stadiums are placed above the action at least 20 to 30 feet away from the sideline and plenty ways away from the playing field.

In NBA arenas, fans can be as close to the action as the head coach or the sixth man off the bench. Seats are sold all the way up to a team’s bench with fans able to hear coaches’ advice for their team during a timeout. Placing alcohol-consuming, overzealous fans with nothing to lose so closely to polarizing athletes in high-pressure environments is a recipe for confrontation.

After a loss earlier this year in Denver, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook had a fan approach him and get in his face as he tried to leave the court after the buzzer. Westbrook gave the man a shove and security luckily swooped in before anything could escalate. While this situation was handled without any major implications, it’s an uncomfortable reminder of the physical access fans can have to athletes in NBA arenas.

Even a couple weeks back after a playoff game 6 in Utah, Westbrook had two heated exchanges with Jazz fans during and after the game.

“Here in Utah, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans, man. It’s truly disrespectful. Talk about your families, about your kids,” Westbrook said during his post-game press conference. “So I just think it’s disrespectful, and they get the chance to do whatever they wanna do. It needs to be put to a stop, especially here in Utah.”

While these altercations in Utah didn’t turn physical, they easily could have. When a drunken fan screams vulgarities dealing with your family at you while you’re engulfed in a high-intensity playoff game, who would be surprised if Westbrook snapped?

There have been more than enough close calls between players and fans to warrant a revamp of where spectators should be allowed to sit. The most logical thing would be to remove fans from the court and keep them at more of a distance from the players. That idea would likely be laughable to NBA front office officials because that is where the big bucks are made: courtside seats.

These expensive seats usually are occupied by celebrities, famous guests or wealthy individuals; people you would think can handle being responsible at a sporting event. However, just last week, Drake got into a shouting match with Kendrick Perkins of the Cleveland Cavaliers that resulted in both of them having to be pushed away from each other. Drake is a rapper of very small stature who has no business fighting the massive Perkins, but somehow he felt empowered to act hard in an NBA arena.

This sudden jolt of toughness that Drake and fans in Denver and Utah have experienced is what needs to be addressed before we end up with another “Malice at the Palace” like in Detroit in 2004.

We keep getting closer and close to real violence during our beloved sport of basketball and while it hasn’t happened just yet, it’ll be too late when it does.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Writer
Scott Procter, Staff Writer
Scott Procter is a third-year journalism student. He enjoys playing football for UW-Eau Claire, listening to music and playing 2K.
Leave a Comment

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Alex Jones, social media, and the question of free speech and censorship

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Geoffrey Owens works as a grocer… so what?

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Serena Williams faces violations

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Just don’t burn it: Nike’s ad campaign faces backlash

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Mollie Tibbetts: A story gone wrong

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Column

    Mollie Tibbetts: A story gone wrong

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Being racist is not a result of being ‘young and dumb’

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Packers upgraded immensely after draft

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    Opening round of playoffs reveal promise for some and doubt for others

  • NBA fans must chill out

    Editorial

    John & Fay Menard YMCA Tennis Center garners a variety of responses from the community

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
NBA fans must chill out