Some mild-mannered taunting during Game 2 of the New York Knicks’ first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden Wednesday evening turned ugly.
Seen as Public Enemy No. 1 in the Big Apple, Hawks guard Trae Young has been on the receiving end of New York-like “hospitality” over the first two games. Unfortunately, that took a turn during Wednesday night’s game. This included a fan seemingly spitting on Young.
There’s absolutely no room for this in professional sports. Not even taking into account the current pandemic, spitting on a player should result in an indefinite ban from attending sporting events.
Apparently, the Knicks agree. They released a statement on Thursday, apologizing to Trae Young and the Hawks while announcing that the fan has been banned from Madison Square Garden indefinitely. Meanwhile, evidence on the matter has also been turned over to the proper authorities.
“We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan’s behavior,” the New York Knicks statement read. “This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned over information to the appropriate authorities.”
Unfortunately, this incident came the same night that Washington Wizards star guard Russell Westbrook had popcorn thrown on him during their game against the 76ers in Philadelphia. Said incident took place as Westbrook was leaving for the locker room after suffering an injury.
It’s great to have fans back in attendance for these important NBA Playoff games. In fact, the atmosphere inside Madison Square Garden Wednesday evening was electric.
That doesn’t excuse what happened to Trae Young.