Russell Westbrook Says 'S--t Is Getting Out of Hand' After Fan Dumps Popcorn on Him

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 27, 2021

Washington Wizards' Russell Westbrook plays during Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook was still angry with the fan who threw popcorn at him during his team's 120-95 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, telling reporters "this shit is getting out of hand."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"This s--t is getting out of hand."<br><br>Russ sounds off after a fan dumped popcorn on him in Philly. *NSFW* pic.twitter.com/uWyWCyfR9r

"They don't give a f--k," he told reporters. "Disrespect. … It's bulls--t. They feel like they're untouchable, they can say what they want."

He continued, saying, "I wouldn't come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens. ... In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We'll see what the NBA does."

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Russ got heated after a fan threw popcorn at him pic.twitter.com/XyMRUxUVwc

The incident happened as Westbrook was walking back to the locker room after he suffered an ankle injury. Security and event staff had to hold him back in the immediate aftermath he was so upset.

It is notable that Westbrook said fans feel "untouchable" considering this is not his first altercation with one.

A Utah Jazz fan was banned for life from Vivint Arena in 2019 when Westbrook said he shouted racist and derogatory remarks his way. Westbrook, then with the Oklahoma City Thunder, yelled in the direction of the fan in a heated scene.

In 2016, a 76ers fan was ejected for flashing double middle fingers at the Thunder guard.

LeBron James was among those who supported Westbrook on Wednesday, saying the players want to see who threw the popcorn:

LeBron James @KingJames

By the way WE AS THE PLAYERS wanna see who threw that popcorn on Russ while he was leaving the game tonight with a injury!! There’s cameras all over arenas so there’s no excuse! Cause if the 👟 was on the other 🦶🏾.🎥 #ProtectOurPlayers

Valerie Camillo, who is the president of business operations for Wells Fargo Center, said it was a display of "classless, unacceptable behavior" in a statement:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Statement from the President of Business Ops of the Wells Fargo Center on the Westbrook/fan popcorn incident: “This was classless, unacceptable behavior, and we’re not going to tolerate it...” https://t.co/xfyJBr9qR1 pic.twitter.com/2z296ay3HT

"It's disgusting," Wizards teammate Bradley Beal told reporters. "It may be one bad apple. That's BS. We got a lot of nasty fans. I even got some crazy language spoken to me tonight and my kids are sitting there."

According to the NBA TV broadcast, the fan was ejected from the game.

In terms of the actual game and series, Philadelphia is in full control with a 2-0 lead after Wednesday. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid each had 22 points in the latest win, while Tobias Harris added 19 points and nine boards.

Beal spearheaded the effort for Washington with 33 points.


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