Fans of the Detroit Pistons are all too aware of how a couple of dumb fans can ruin a game.
It was 17 years ago that a fans’ thrown drink started what would be known as the “Malice in the Palace” a brawl that spilled into the stands and changed the way we look at sports.
The incident featured a guy who looked like Turtle from “Entourage” squaring off with superhuman Ron Artest with predictable results. Jermaine O’Neal finished the ordeal by delivering a running haymaker that Turtle’s buddy was lucky to ever wake up from.
It was an ugly incident that embarrassed the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and the league itself, resulted in myriad suspensions and fines and a whole new name for Ron Artest, who emerged from the chaos as Metta World Peace.
The league made new rules, tried to crack down on drunks and unruly behavior and fans learned that there is not a force field between them in the players and that if you throw a drink in a man’s face you better be ready to fight him.
Did the fans forget this lesson?
The NBA is headed for another brawl
This week has featured a number of incidents of fans acting fools once again. One guy threw popcorn on Russell Westbrook, a moron in New York spit on Trae Young, Ja Morant’s family was accosted with racist slurs in Utah (shocker), a fan threw a bottle of water at Kyrie Irving and last night another mouth breather Wizards’ fan ran on the court before being tackled by security.
To be honest, he’s very lucky that cop got there first.
I would 100 percent not blame a player for defending him or herself on the court if a maniac ran onto it and if the fan gets what is coming to them, good.
Teams have arrested these fans, banned them for life and some of them will face charges, but if this keeps happening we are bound to have another ugly situation in which players are forced to defend themselves and will.
Personally, I’d like for all of these tough guys to actually have to stand face to face with the players they throw things at, to watch them cower and quake with fear when they are not protected by space and security guards. Let these cowards stand toe to toe with Westbrook at center court and watch them pee their pants.
The players are sick of it and sane fans should be too, as buying a ticket to a game does not give you license to dehumanize another person who happens to be wearing a rival’s uniform.
Maybe it simply comes down to cutting off alcohol altogether, as it is what fuels most of these idiots, but the NBA had better do something soon, or there is going to be another Malice in the Palace and this time “Turtle” might not be so lucky.