A man was tackled and apprehended after running onto the court during an NBA playoff game, in the latest incident involving fans’ bad behavior at a sporting event.
The man ran onto the court disrupting play in Monday’s playoff matchup between the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers in Washington, D.C.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns Capital One Arena and the Wizards, tweeted that the person has been banned.
“Monumental Sports & Entertainment has a zero tolerance policy when fans violate our code of conduct at Capital One Arena,” the company said.
It said charges were being pursued by the Metropolitan Police Department, but police did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.
Like many teams, Washington started the season without fans in the stands, but the team has been increasing arena capacity as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. For Monday night’s game, the crowd was 10,665, roughly 50 percent of what the place holds, the Associated Press reported.
The 76ers fell to the Wizards, 122-114, in Game Four of their series in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
There have been other recent incidents involving fans at NBA games that have ended in arrests or bans.
A Boston Celtics fan was arrested Sunday and accused of throwing a bottle of water at Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving after the Nets beat the Celtics at TD Garden in Boston.
On Wednesday, a 76ers fan threw popcorn at Wizard Russell Westbrook. That fan had his season ticket revoked and has been banned from all events at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers apologized to the Wizards and Westbrook.
The New York Knicks on Thursday said it banned a person who spit at Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young. The team also apologized for the fan’s behavior, which it called completely unacceptable.
Last year, fans were kept from games after the NBA shut down and then resumed playing contests in a “bubble” because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The league said last week that as more fans have been allowed to return to watch games in person, an enhanced code of conduct would be vigorously enforced.
After the game, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks called Monday’s incident embarrassing and said that fans who engage in the type of behavior seen recently should be punished. “It’s just been happening, and they have no fear,” he said.
“I don’t know the law. I just know that you shouldn’t be able to do that and get away with it and just be kicked out,” Brooks said.