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NBA handing out Red Card warnings to rude, abusive fans at games

Dec 5, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT


An NBA fan was handed this at an NBA game Wednesday (and his friend posted the photo on Reddit, where I saw it).

It’s a “red card” warning for what is deemed abusive language or behavior to someone — a player, a coach, the referees or another fan. The warning is clear: keep it up and you will be tossed. And no, you are not getting your money back.

It’s the first time I’ve seen this, but according to the NBA this has been in place in arenas since 2005.

And I’m good with this — you pay your money you get to voice your opinion, but up to a point where it crosses the line of decency. Where is that line is the question — decency is not a universal standard (is what is offensive in Milwaukee always offensive in Brooklyn?). The Wizards (then Bullets) used to have a legendary heckler who forced the league to come up with things like a “fan code of conduct.” He’d probably have a collection of these things now.

  1. stadix093 - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    Damn that guy isn’t even sitting that close. It wasn’t a player or coach who complained that’s for damn sure.

    • zeedoubleyou - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:32 PM

      The tunnel directly to the fan’s left is where both teams enter the floor from the locker room at the Bradley Center.

      I was at this game (lucky that my company gave me 2 courtside seats) and Jennings was getting it from the fans all night. Not a fan of his, but he didn’t seem to let it faze him. The worst thing he did was flop all game long.

    • asimonetti88 - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      Not that close? He’s like 5 rows from the court! Do you know how much those tickets are??

  2. lastdukestreetking - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Guy isn’t too many rows off the floor behind the basket. You can see a guy who is probably security sitting behind the basket facing the crowd. I’m really glad to hear the league enforces this.

  3. andyseidel81 - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    I’ve actually seen this happen to someone at the Bradley Center the only time I ever went there earlier this year in the Blazers game. The guy had it coming for sure, but I didn’t know about it until then. I’m from Boston and had never seen it throughout some pretty heated Garden games…

  4. provguard - Dec 5, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Send Artest into the stands for the violators….

    • 22yearsagotoday - Dec 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM


  5. timberwolvesbrisin - Dec 5, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Kurt, once again youre wrong. As long as physical contact isnt made, the fans have evewry right to heckle(excluding foul langauage). That’s what makes the NBA so fun(and why they can charge so much), youre up close and personal with the game and the players.

  6. seanb20124 - Dec 5, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Arena is empty, can hear a pin drop in there

  7. drewsylvania - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    That’s pretty funny, actually. Throw me out of the game if I’m abusive. But if you give me a card because I’m abusive, I’m going to start laughing.

    • jimeejohnson - Dec 5, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      He who laughs last laughs best. Have a feeling it won’t be you.

  8. progress2011 - Dec 5, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    The word “Fan” was derived from Fanatical !

    Fanatical implies – Rabid, Frenzied and Extreme.

    So, let me get this strait…for one game:

    1. $200+ for his floor seats
    2. $20-50 parking
    3. $50 Food and adult beverages

    So, A MINIMUM of $270 to attend ONE GAME….and I gotta act like a friggin altar boy!

    NOPE! I choose to:

    1. Keep my Bread in my pocket – fire up the big screen – cop a seat in my recliner
    2. Car parked in the garage
    3. Wifey, goes to the grocery store/ I hit the package store….eat and drink til I pass out, for a minimum fee.

    If you have to work for a living and are not a trust fund baby….its simply not feasible to be a FANATIC!


  9. jzone954 - Dec 5, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Crazy things is when playing on the Xbox one if you curse, on nba 2k14 the game issues a technical lol

  10. dinofrank60 - Dec 6, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Then the NBA should devise an universal acceptable standard for fan conduct. For example, could pulling out a wad of money and offering to pay the refs off be abusive? Or pulling out a cell phone and offering to place a bet for the refs for the second half abusive? Is booing the owner considered abusive?

    Excuse me, sir. I believe that move might have been traveling. Could you reconsider that non-call, please? Would this be civilized?

    I’d like to see what happens when they hand out these cards to Jack Nicholson or Spike Lee.

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