Update: The Sixers season ticket holder who dumped the popcorn on Russell Westbrook has been indefinitely banned from all events at the Wells Fargo Center.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- The Sixers 120-95 win over the Washington Wizards in Game 2 on Wednesday night was marred by an incident late in the game when a fan dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook as he was heading back to the locker room to be checked out for an injury. Westbrook was understandably visibly upset by the incident and had to be restrained from going after the fan. After the game ended, Charles Barkley, speaking about the incident on Inside The NBA said that the fan should be banned for life.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Stormy Evening Brings In Seasonal Temperatures For Early Next Week
“That’s unnecessary. It’s unnecessary. Throw the guy out,” Barkley said. “Ban the dude.”
Barkley continued one with a rule proposal that was presented in a somewhat joking manner.
“Y’all guys always get mad when I say what NBA rule I would change. I think you should be able to go up in the stands and beat the hell out of one person per game.”
Ernie Johnson responded sarcastically that he “can’t see why that didn’t take hold.”
“You don’t think that guy didn’t deserve to get his a– beat right at center court,” Barkley asked.
While Barkley was clearly joking about the NBA changing a rule to allow players to go into the stands, the response did highlight the continued problem with fan behavior that the league has had through the years. With no fans in the stands for last year’s playoffs and throughout much of this season, there weren’t any interactions like these to speak of. But, there have been several incidents in the last few seasons of fans stepping over the line.READ MORE: Ocean County Man Charged After Supplying Heroin, Fentanyl To Man Who Overdosed, Police Say
After the game Westbrook put it bluntly, saying things have gotten out of hand.
“I was leaving and felt popcorn dropped on my head. To be blatantly honest man, this s— is out of hand,” Westbrook said. “The amount of disrespect. The amount of fans just doing whatever they want to do. It’s out of pocket. Seriously, any other setting, I’m all for the fans enjoying the game, having fun it’s part of sports I get it. But there are certain things that cross the line. And any other setting I know for a fact, I know that fans wouldn’t come up, a guy on the street wouldn’t come up and dump popcorn on my head because he know what would happen. Guy wouldn’t come up to me on the street and start talking mess about my kids because the response would be different. In these arenas you have to start protecting players man. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
After showing Westbrook’s comments, the guys in studio continued to react with Barkley saying “he should be banned for life.”
“Just ban him for life and it’s over with,” Barkley said.
After an investigation, the Sixers determined the fan who dumped the popcorn was a season ticket holder. His season tickets have since been revoked, effective immediately.
He has also been indefinitely banned from all events at the Wells Fargo Center
“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,” the Sixers said in a statement. “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.”MORE NEWS: Man Stabbed Multiple Times In North Philadelphia: Police
The Sixers and Wizards now travel to Washington for Game 3 of the series on Saturday night.