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Adam Silver Says NBA Has 'Zero Tolerance' for Fans Harassing Players

Adam WellsMay 28, 2021

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

After five fans were banned from arenas because of their actions at NBA playoff games on Wednesday night, Adam Silver addressed the league's policy on inappropriate fan behavior. 

Speaking to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, Silver said the league has "zero tolerance" for inappropriate fan behavior:

"No one is going to get away with an act like that. You're going to be caught. You're going to be banned from an arena. In some cases there may be criminal prosecution depending if the conduct rises to that level of an assault or something that the police are going to take note of."

Three NBA teams announced bans for five different fans as a result of their actions during Wednesday's playoff games. 

The most-talked about incident involved a Philadelphia 76ers fan dumping popcorn on Russell Westbrook in the fourth quarter of Game 2. The Sixers announced the fan had his season tickets revoked and is banned from Wells Fargo Center indefinitely. 

After an online video circulated appearing to show a fan at Madison Square Garden spitting on Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young, the New York Knicks banned the fan from events at the arena indefinitely. 

The Utah Jazz announced that three fans were removed from Vivint Arena during Game 2 of their playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies for disparaging comments directed toward the family of Ja Morant. 

Tee Morant, Ja's father, told ESPN's Tim MacMahon that Jazz fans made "vulgar" and "racist" comments.   

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Utah's statement also noted the fans have been banned from the arena indefinitely. 

The NBA previously announced a zero-tolerance policy for bad fan behavior and took precautions by expanding the area in arenas that would be most closely monitored for player-fan interactions. 

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