The National Basketball Association (NBA) has been under pressure to provide more effective protection for on-the-court players and personnel, after a Philadelphia fan dumped popcorn on Russel Westbrook’s head. Mr Westbrook (a nine time NBA All-Star) currently plays for the Washington Wizards and earned the NBA Most Valuable Player award for the 2016-2017 season.
In an interview with reporters, the player said he twisted his ankle with 10:29 left to play in the Wizards’ 120-95 losing game, two of their first round match up against the Philadelphia 76ers. The incident happened when he was being escorted to the locker room by team personnel and Wells Fargo Staff.
Westbrook said the fan crossed the line and expressed the frustration he had after being kept from responding to the spectator. The player said that spectators are allowed more freedom to do and say what they like when attending the games. Russel further elaborated quote ‘I am for the fans enjoying the game, it’s all part of the sports, but it looks like it’s double standard from my point of view.’
In the month of April a violent incident transpired when a Girls travel basketball game in Westfield took a vicious turn. A midcourt brawl broke out among a referee, player and several spectators that ended with a team being rejected from the tournament.
Lebron James, along with a few other players, have weighed in with similar pleas for the league to take action.