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NBA continues to see issues with fan behavior

NBA has emphasized to players if fan heckling gets out of hand they should tell security and have the fans kicked outGetty Images

The NBA for decades has “thrived by packing fans and superstars into tight spaces, creating the best game atmosphere of any pro sports league,” but over the past couple of weeks, four stars have “publicly complained about fan behavior,” according to Michael Rosenberg of SI.com. The NBA “thinks it has mechanisms in place to keep game atmospheres hot instead of explosive.” But players “need to believe those mechanisms work” and that they "are enough.” The NBA has “emphasized" to players in recent years the option to "tell security and have the fans kicked out.” But some believe that when fans heckle, players “should respond in kind.” The standard for players is, and "always has been, higher than the fans who pay to get in to watch.” If fan heckling "gets out of hand," the player “has to tell security.” If players are “no longer satisfied with that kind of resolution,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver “needs to recognize it and be proactive in addressing it.” Fan-player conflicts are “not a new problem,” and the league is “actually much better at dealing with it than it used to be.” These days, many teams “ban fans for long periods of time” and “use facial-recognition technology to enforce those bans" (SI.com, 5/10).

REACHING A BOILING POINT: In Orlando, Mike Bianchi wonders if fan behavior at all levels of sports is “becoming more nasty and hateful than it’s ever been?” Bianchi: “We’re talking about entitled fans who show up and think the price of a ticket gives them the right to say or do whatever they want." Nets G Kyrie Irving and Warriors F Draymond Green were "fined for the ‘obscene’ gesture," but Bianchi writes, "If you ask me they should be commended for their self-control.” Bianchi: “Isn’t it sad that some fans have obliterated the true meaning of sports and forgotten that going to a game is supposed to be a fun, joyful activity” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/11).

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