The Philadelphia 76ers ejected and banned a fan from attending any future Sixers games after the man was overheard hurling racist insults at Carmelo Anthony during a game on Thursday.
A second fan was suspended from appearing at all remaining games at the Wells Fargo Center this season, the team’s spokesperson told to NBC Sports Philadelphia. The action came after Anthony himself heard the fans, leading to a near altercation, reported sports writer Dan Woike.
Carmelo Anthony confirmed that he was called “boy” by fans in Philadelphia and that line-crossing comments came from two different groups of people.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 28, 2022
In the press conference following the game, which the Lakers lost by 18 points, Anthony voiced his frustration with the behavior of the fans.
“It is what it is. Some things was said. Unacceptable,” said the 19-year veteran. “I’m cool with fans heckling, fans talking trash, cheering for their team, booing the other team. I’m all for that. But when you cross certain lines, as a man, that’s what you’re going to see. That’s what you’re going to get, as you saw.
Bleacher Report posted the incident video on Twitter, in which Anthony is seen rushing towards the unpleasant fans; however, referees and security quickly interceded.
Melo got into it with this fan and he was removed from the game 👀 pic.twitter.com/V3vpPHBXmx
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 28, 2022
“It’s just certain things you don’t bring to any type of sporting event,” he added, explaining his reaction. “Certain things you don’t say to anybody. If I was outside and I bumped into you, and you said those things to me, then it would be a totally different story.”
In May of last year, the NBA issued a Fan Code of Conduct, which is upheld at all relevant league events. The code notes that “guests will enjoy the basketball experience free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language and obscene gestures.”
The policy also states in no uncertain terms that fans who choose not to follow the guidelines set forth by the league, “will be subject to penalty including, but not limited to, ejection without refund, revocation of their season tickets, and/or prevention from attending future games.”
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Wells Fargo Center has also implemented a zero-tolerance policy on racial or identity-based slurs, abusive language and behavior, and other unfavorable interactions at the arena.