The fan who threw popcorn at Russell Westbrook was kicked out of the Wells Fargo Center indefinitely and had his Philadelphia 76ers season ticket membership revoked.
The 76ers announced the punishment for the unidentified fan Thursday, a day after the incident occurred during Philadelphia’s postseason game against Westbrook and the Washington Wizards.
“We apologize to Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards for being subjected to this type of unacceptable and disrespectful behavior,” the Sixers said as part of their statement. “There is no place for it in our sport or arena.”
Westbrook left the game Wednesday after sustaining an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and was limping into the tunnel at Wells Fargo Center when the fan tossed the popcorn at the nine-time All-Star.
An irate Westbrook had to be held back by several Wizards staff and arena security guards before returning through the tunnel. The fan was expelled by security moments later.
“To be completely honest, this sh — is getting out of hand, especially for me,” Westbrook said after Washington’s 120-95 loss. “The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans who just do whatever it is they want to do. … There are certain things that cross the line. In any other setting … a guy comes down the street and tosses me popcorn. in the head, you know what happens.
“In these arenas, they have to start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does.”
His teammate Bradley Beal called the incident “disgusting” and Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the individual should be expelled from the league.
Valerie Camillo, president of business operations for the Wells Fargo Center, released a statement shortly after the game that said, “This was unacceptable and classless behavior and we will not tolerate it at the Wells Fargo Center. We are proud to have the fans. most passionate people in the country and the best home advantage, but this type of behavior has no place in our field. “
Four years ago, a fan sitting on the court in Philadelphia was sent off for sticking his finger at Westbrook. In 2019, a Utah fan was banned for life from Vivint Smart Home Arena after having a verbal altercation with Westbrook while on the Oklahoma City Thunder bench.