Solving the Growing NBA Fan Behavior Problems



As the 2018-2019 NBA season came to a close, a group of NBA players gathered with league officials to discuss what they believe is one of the biggest problems in the game. Fan behavior they said, tops the charts.

This lousy behavior is becoming a major safety concern to the league as it grows and seems to frequently be racially motivated.

Although not every altercation has been racially motivated, most are. While the specific number of fan altercations is not known, last season, ejections from the courtside area had doubled. 

Notable incidents involved superstars Russell Westbrook and Demarcus Cousins, who faced racist taunts in multiple away games, resulting in fans being banned from these teams arenas for life. 

Another incident involved Kyle Lowry, who was shoved by a Golden State Warriors minority ownership partner seated courtside during the NBA finals.

In order to address the players’ concerns, the NBA put forth a zero-tolerance policy for abusive or hateful behavior. The league has changed and strengthened its code of conduct for fans, especially those who are closest to the court. 

“We’ve added any sexist language or LGBTQ language, any denigrating language in that way, anything that is non-basketball-related,” said Jerome Pickett, the NBA’s executive vice president and chief security officer. 

“So ‘your mother’ comments, talking about your family, talking about test scores, anything non-basketball-related, we’ve added that in as well as being something that we will go and pull a fan out of the seat and investigate what happened.”

Anything that is considered wrongful or outrageous will lead to ejections and possibly further consequences. Even fans who are believed to be involved in incidents will be removed from their seats while the situation is investigated. 

With these brand-new fan policies, hopefully the players will not have to face such cruel harassment and instead can focus on the game.