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Dunlap: Fans Just Don’t Get It

The latest incident happened in Oakland during Game 3 of the NBA Finals

June 06, 2019 - 12:06 pm

Related: Courtside Fan Ejected After Shoving Raptors' Lowry

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Yeah, another day, another fan behaving badly. 

I just don’t get it. I’m not understanding this whole thing in the least. 

Why do people act outside of the normal way they comport themselves when they are in a sports arena? 

Why do they become fake tough? 

Why do they shout the things they do? 

Why do they carry on in a way they would never in any other situation? 

It’s a weird thing; it really is. Must be something in the air at sports arenas. Or the beer taps, perhaps.  

The latest incident happened in Oakland during Game 3 of the NBA Finals when Toronto’s Kyle Lowry crashed into the first few rows of those fancy and ultra-expensive courtside seats as he tried to save an errant ball from heading out of bounds. Some bozo --- hellbent on showing us his fake toughness --- decided it was a good idea to take his left arm and give Lowry a good, hard shove. 

Lowry noticed, said something to the nearest game official and the fan was promptly ejected from Oracle Arena. 

After the game we came to find out --- as Lowry put it --- that previous to the incident the fan had spent much of the game using vulgar language toward Lowry and his Raptors teammates.

Out on the street, where no mob mentality could save him, would that fan ever say the things he did to Lowry and his teammates? Would that guy ever dare to put his hands on an NBA player? 

It is just a guess, but I’m guessing a huge “no.” 

Ugh. Here we go again. But the last thing I am is surprised. Know why? The punishment for people behaving like this (putting their hands on players or being general degenerates) isn’t stern enough. It hardly ever is. 

No one will ever convince me that the man who shoved Lowry had been the model of a perfectly-behaved fan until Wednesday night and that was the first time he decided to act as such. 

I’m betting it just didn’t happen that way; I’m betting he’s been a nuisance or at least a jerk at games in the past.  

And that brings me to this …. people need to be punished much more sternly for misbehavior at arenas. Ban them for five years. Ban them for 10 years. Ban them for life if you want. 

But make the punishment swift, strong and make it having an absolute impact on their ability to enter the arena for an extended period of time. 

To further it, if during the time they are banned from the arena they are found to be in it, make them suffer a deeper consequence. That is to say when you ban them the first time, make sure they clearly understand they are being issued a “no trespass” notice and simply aren’t welcome on the property. 

For the life of me, I don’t understand why this isn’t more common in sports. 

If someone goes into a retail establishment, a bar or restaurant or other place of business and puts their hands on employees --- or incessantly swears at them loudly ---- it would seem to me a logical step would be to ban them from said establishment. 

Why should arenas be any different? 

Trust me, I’m all for fans being fans. It is part of what makes sports great. But we have reached a level where too many think they are invincible and act entitled because they aren’t hit with swift enough (or really any) justice. 

That needs to be changed. ​

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