The New York Knicks said they have banned a fan who spit on Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young during Game 2 of their first-round playoff series.
Video of the incident, which took place on Wednesday night (May 26), surfaced on social media. In the clip, Young is seen inbounding the ball on the sideline, which is near the fans. A man in the second row is then seen spitting over those who were sitting directly courtside — including 50 Cent. The spit did not hit Young, but it looked some of it got on a woman who was sitting directly in front of the culprit.
“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 a statement on Thursday (May 27). “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.”
On Thursday, the NBA released a statement about the league’s code of conduct in the playoffs being enforced. “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’s statement read. “An enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved.”
This is the second fan-related incident to take place in the NBA during the playoffs. That same night, a fan poured popcorn on Russell Westbrook as he exited the court after sustaining an ankle injury. That fan has also been banned from attending any future games or events at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Check out the statement from the Knicks and a video of the fan spitting on Young below.