Advertisement

Knicks ban fan from MSG for spitting on Hawks star Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, shown during a game against the Washington Wizards on May 10, declined to press charges against the New York Knicks fan who spit on him. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, shown during a game against the Washington Wizards on May 10, declined to press charges against the New York Knicks fan who spit on him. Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE

May 27 (UPI) -- The New York Knicks have banned a fan from Madison Square Garden for spitting on Atlanta Hawks star guard Trae Young on Wednesday night during Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.

In a statement released Thursday, the Knicks called the incident "unacceptable" and apologized to Young and the Hawks organization.

Advertisement

"We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young, and for that reason, he is now banned from The Garden indefinitely," the Knicks said in the news release. "We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan's behavior.

"This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to the appropriate authorities."

RELATED Brooklyn Nets' Jeff Green out for rest of Boston Celtics series

The 22-year-old Young, however, declined to press charges against the fan who spit on him.

"We appreciate the Garden's response to the incident, and Trae's focus remains on his teammates and Game 3," Young's agent, Omar Wilkes, told ESPN.

The incident occurred with 8:34 remaining in the fourth quarter while Young was inbounding the ball near the sideline. Video of the sequence was widely circulated on social media and drew a reaction from Young's father.

Advertisement
RELATED Anthony Davis erupts, Lakers tie series with Suns

Earlier Thursday, Young's father, Ray, tweeted: "Gotta get this under control. @russwest44 gets popcorn thrown on him [and] @TheTraeYoung gets spat on. I can deal with all the chants about my son, it comes with it. But this needs to be addressed."

This was the second fan-related incident that occurred Wednesday. During Game 2 between the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers, a fan at Wells Fargo Center poured popcorn on Wizards star Russell Westbrook as he was heading to the locker room for treatment on an ankle injury.

RELATED New York Knicks' Julius Randle wins NBA's Most Improved Player award

The 76ers announced the punishment in that incident Thursday, with that fan being banned indefinitely from the Wells Fargo Center.

In response to the pair of occurrences, the NBA released a statement Thursday about its code of conduct in the playoffs.

Advertisement

"The return of more NBA fans to our arenas has brought great excitement and energy to the start of the playoffs, but it is critical that we all show respect for players, officials and our fellow fans," the league said. "An enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved."

The National Basketball Players Association also issued a statement calling on fans to "Respect our Players. Respect our Game."

The Hawks and Knicks are scheduled to meet in Atlanta for Game 3 on Friday. The best-of-seven series is tied at one game apiece.

Latest Headlines