Washington Wizards: NBA community defends Russell Westbrook after popcorn incident

Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Wizards Russell Westbrook. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s no excuse for what happened to Russell Westbrook in game two. As the Washington Wizards point guard left game two in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, a Philadelphia 76ers fan took it upon himself to literally add insult to injury.

As Westbrook headed down the tunnel and into the locker room, a fan reached over a few rows of seats and dumped his popcorn on Westbrook as he left the court. Westbrook obviously took exception as the fan meekly cowered back into his seat. You can watch it for yourself here.

Westbrook didn’t mince words when talking about the incident after the game. When asked about what happened, Westbrook had this to say…

"“This s— is getting out of hand, especially for me. The amount of disrespect, the amount of fans just doing whatever the f— they want to do. It’s out of pocket“"

Philadelphia fans are infamous for their lack of hospitality, and this is just another instance of the fanbase proving the stereotypes right. It’s not the first time Westbrook has had a problem in Philadelphia. And former Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas got into it with Philadelphia fans last season.

A classless Philadelphia 76ers fan dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook’s head as he left game two due to injury.

Westbrook’s teammates were quick to defend him after the game. Beal — who also felt the disrespect in game two — called the act “disgusting.

Luckily, the rest of the world seems to understand how idiotic the popcorn dump and the popcorn dumper are. In a statement from the President of Business Operations of the Wells Fargo Center, Valerie Camillo called it “classless, unacceptable behavior, and we’re not going to tolerate it.” Skip Bayless asserts that such behavior “WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.” And LeBron James called for accountability, making a good point about the player-fan dynamics. Fans can seemingly do or say whatever they want to athletes during games, but an athlete is often the one vilified when they have the audacity to stand up for themselves or address the fan(s) directly.

We’ve seen what can happen when players are able to actually confront the unruly fans that are stupid enough to disrespect them. By no means am I calling for a nightly Malice and the Palace, but this guy probably wouldn’t have dumped popcorn on Westbrook’s head had they met when Westbrook wasn’t at work. And make no mistake, that’s something Westbrook is well aware of.

The perpetrator is suffering the consequences of his actions even if he doesn’t have to go toe-to-toe with Westbrook. The 76ers, after a thorough investigation, revoked the popcorn dumper’s season ticket membership and banned him from all events at Wells Fargo Center indefinitely. It’s the right call and hopefully will deter any fans out there that think it’s cool to dump popcorn, spit on, or otherwise disrespect other humans just because they are wearing the “wrong” jersey.

Biggest mismatch vs. 76ers may be on the sideline. dark. Next