NBA Enacts Zero-Tolerance Rule On Abusive & Hateful Fan Behavior - uSports.org

Log In

  • Home  /
  • News   /
  • NBA Enacts Zero-Tolerance Rule On Abusive & Hateful Fan Behavior
NBA Enacts Zero-Tolerance Rule On Abusive & Hateful Fan Behavior Full view

TORONTO, ON - MAY 03: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball in the second half of Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Miami Heat during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at the Air Canada Centre on May 3, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

NBA Enacts Zero-Tolerance Rule On Abusive & Hateful Fan Behavior

This past summer, NBA players gathered with officials in the league office to espouse their view as to what has recently become the biggest problem in the game: hateful fan behavior.

“Last season, I began to sense even at the games I was attending that there was a certain, I’ll call it absence of civility, that permeated the games,” said Michele Roberts, the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. “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.”

Another layer of complexity in this story is the opportunity presented for racist insults, given that a majority of players in the NBA are black. This is not to say that all insulting and abusive fan behavior is racially motivated. However, there have been multiple incidents of this in recent years involving notable players like Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins and Kyle Lowry. 

Since then, the league has made it a mission to revamp the code of conduct for fans by especially focusing on those in close proximity to the court and toughening the rules on what can and cannot be said by expanding “abusive and hateful behavior” to include discrimination of any kind (based on race, sexual orientation, or otherwise).

30 SPORTS FIGURES WHO DIED IN 2018 – TRIBUTE SLIDESHOW 

“We’ve added any sexist language or LGBTQ language, any denigrating language in that way, anything that is non-basketball-related,” said Jerome Pickett, the NBA’s executive vice president and chief security officer. “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.”

Amira Davis, a history professor at Penn State specializing in race, gender, sports and politics in 20th-century history, attributes the crude behavior of fans primarily to the lack of repercussions:

“There have been plenty of sober fans yelling slurs and attacking players in the worst way,” Davis said. “I think it’s a mix of all of those things, and when looking at predominantly white spaces like Utah and a largely black labor force, it ratchets it up a little bit more and makes it a lot more intense. Particularly in this political climate in which it’s very easy to project onto high-profile black athletes and pathologies and misconceptions about the black community.”

As the NBA season rolls around again, many coaches, players and organizations will be interested to see if these new code of conduct rules do anything to reduce hateful fan behavior.

Chat With uSports On Facebook! Get the latest news and interviews delivered directly to your Messenger!

Featured articles on uInterview.com

Written by Jake Dianno

Avid sports fan born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Currently a college baseball player at Middlebury and a diehard Eagles fan.

Latest News

Jimmy Burrow Says Son, Joe Burrow, Will Be Happy As Bengal If Drafted No. 1

Jimmy Burrow Says Son, Joe Burrow, Will Be Happy As Bengal If Drafted No. 1

LSU star quarterback Joe Burrow is coming off of his record-breaking, history-making season where he led the Tigers to a…

MLB Spring Training Tickets On Sale Now! [Dates, Deals & Ticket Info]

MLB Spring Training Tickets On Sale Now! [Dates, Deals & Ticket Info]

Major League Baseball spring training tickets are on sale now! Don’t miss a second of the action before regular season…

Aaron Rodgers Feels Optimistic About Future Following NFC Championship Loss

Aaron Rodgers Feels Optimistic About Future Following NFC Championship Loss

The Packers’ season started with uncertainty as experts wondered why Matt LaFleur was hired as head coach following his time as the…

Three Horses Dead In Three Days Following Injuries At Santa Anita Park

Three Horses Dead In Three Days Following Injuries At Santa Anita Park

For the third day in a row a horse was announced dead at the Santa Anita racing park in Arcadia,…

Super Bowl Tickets Hit High Point [Ticket Info]

Super Bowl Tickets Hit High Point [Ticket Info]

The Kansas City Chiefs walked away as champions of the AFC, while San Francisco took home the NFC crown. The…

Liverpool Beats Manchester United 2-0, Fans Prematurely Celebrate Premier League Title

Liverpool Beats Manchester United 2-0, Fans Prematurely Celebrate Premier League Title

After Liverpool beat Manchester United on Sunday by a final of 2-0, faithful fans could be heard singing “we’re going…

Domantas Sabonis With First Triple-Double Leads Pacers Past Nuggets

Domantas Sabonis With First Triple-Double Leads Pacers Past Nuggets

Domantas Sabonis was on fire Sunday night as he got his first triple-double and led the Pacers past the Nuggets…

Patrick Mahomes’ Playoff Success Continues In Chiefs’ 35-24 AFC Championship Victory Over Titans

Patrick Mahomes’ Playoff Success Continues In Chiefs’ 35-24 AFC Championship Victory Over Titans

Sunday’s 35-24 victory over the Titans sends Kansas City back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50…

Coco Gauff, 15, Defeats Venus Williams In Australian Open First Round… Again

Coco Gauff, 15, Defeats Venus Williams In Australian Open First Round… Again

For the second time her career, Venus Williams was defeated by fifteen-year old American Coco Gauff. Gauff took down Williams…

49ers Defeat Packers 37-20 In NFC Championship Game; Raheem Mostert Posts Career Highs

49ers Defeat Packers 37-20 In NFC Championship Game; Raheem Mostert Posts Career Highs

The 49ers proved they were the better team as they dominated the Packers 37-20 while running the ball 42 times…

Super Bowl LIV Betting Odds, Info & History: Chiefs Favored Slightly

Super Bowl LIV Betting Odds, Info & History: Chiefs Favored Slightly

Ahead of Super Bowl 54, which takes place on Sunday, February 2, 6:30 ET on Fox, the Chiefs enter the…

Joe Burrow To Pass On Senior Bowl [Ticket Info]

Joe Burrow To Pass On Senior Bowl [Ticket Info]

LSU star quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Joe Burrow will pass on the Senior Bowl next week in…