Knicks indefinitely ban spectator who spit on Trae
The New York Knicks announced Thursday they have banned a fan from Madison Square Garden indefinitely for spitting on Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young during Game 2 of their first-round series Wednesday.
"We investigated the matter and determined that this patron, who is not a season-ticket holder, did indeed spit on Trae Young ... We apologize to Trae and the entire Atlanta Hawks organization for this fan's behavior," the Knicks said in a statement.
"This was completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our venue. We have turned the information over to authorities."
Video of a fan appearing to spit on Young began surfacing following the Knicks' 101-92 victory on Wednesday. The individual's face isn't visible but their spit can be seen landing near the Hawks guard. A woman sitting next to American rapper 50 Cent in the first row appears to notice and react in disgust.
Young tweeted the clip early Thursday morning before calling the incident "childish" in a subsequent tweet.
Young will not press charges against the perpetrator, his agent Omar Wilkes told ESPN's Malika Andrews.
"We appreciate the Garden's response to the incident and Trae's focus remains on his teammates and Game 3," Wilkes said.
It's the second incident involving a fan from Wednesday to result in an indefinite arena ban. A Philadelphia 76ers supporter had their season ticket revoked by the organization after pouring popcorn on an injured Russell Westbrook.
"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 NBA said in a statement Thursday. "An enhanced fan code of conduct will be vigorously enforced in order to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all involved."