The NBA will no longer be tolerating fan behavior, which, according to players themselves, is getting worse and worse every season. The problem the players talked about is also surrounding the race difference since most of the players are black while most of the fans sitting close to the sidelines are white.
In an interview for ESPN, various league officials talked about the changes that will be made when it comes to fan’s hackling players. There were several incidents last season with the players such as Russell Westbrook, Kyle Lowry, DeMarcus Cousins going against fans during games. Jeremy Pickett, NBA’s executive vice president and chief security officer, explained the changes that will take place when it comes to the slurs fans are yelling at games.
“We’ve added any sexist language or LGBTQ language, any denigrating language in that way, anything that is non-basketball-related. So ‘your mother’ comments, talking about your family, talking about test scores, anything non-basketball-related. We’ve added that in as well as being something that we will go and pull a fan out of the seat and investigate what happened.”
Michele Roberts, who is the executive director of the NBA, said the league has been noticing more and more trash-talking from the fans. These comments are nastier than before and directly aimed at the players.
“Last season, I began to sense even at the games I was attending that there was a certain, I’ll call it an absence of civility, that permeated the games. I was seeing more bad-mouthing opposing teams that were not simply ‘you suck,’ which every one of us will tolerate. But really nasty, nasty comments being directed at players.”
The league will be monitoring the areas in the arenas in which there is a lot of interaction between players and fans. The code of conduct for every fan will be an official announcement at every NBA arena before the game. Another change starting from next season is that season-ticket holders might lose their seats if they give their tickets to someone else who then proceeds to harass other players or officials.
It will be interesting to see how these rule changes will be implemented and whether they will be able to stop fans from heckling players and officials. The players are taking more control over the games and how fans can interact with them during the game. If you are a fan and the opposing team or a player is playing great, you will have to think twice if you want to comment on something.