If you’re sitting near the court or the entrance/exit tunnel for players at an NBA game this season there is (or at least is supposed to be) a warning taped to seat about language and treatment of players. More and more fans in those seats are not only cursing at or using some very derogatory slurs toward players, and the league, in theory, is trying to crack down on that and throw out (or relocate) abusive people in those seats. While there is a “you paid for the seat, you have a right to boo and yell” truth, there is also a line more and more fans are willing to cross (often with their phones out recording, looking for a “gotcha” moment).
Still, players can’t retaliate. Austin Rivers did Thursday night as the Clippers were on their way to a 126-107 home loss to the Jazz — Rivers confronted a courtside fan and clearly told the fan to “shut the f— up.” It was caught on camera.
Saturday, the league fined Rivers $25,000 for “directing inappropriate comments toward a fan.”
Rivers had to know this was coming. He earned it.
However, the league — and teams, and arena security — need to do a better job of handling abusive fans.