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Charles Barkley had a novel idea for NBA players who get heckled or get into confrontations with fans who have paid to watch the game.
Barkley’s idea came after a Philadelphia 76ers fan dumped popcorn on Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook as he was going back to the locker room to tend to an injury.
The moment caused massive outrage among fans on social media and Barkley had a proposal that he thought could suffice athletes.
“Y’all guys always get mad when I say what NBA rule I would change. I think you should be able to go up in the stands and beat the hell out of one person per game,” he said on the “Inside the NBA” broadcast Wednesday night.
Barkley’s co-host Ernie Johnson sarcastically said he didn’t see why “that didn’t take hold.”
Barkley responded: “You don’t think that guy didn’t deserve to get his a– beat right at center court?”
Johnson made sure Barkley wasn’t advocating for players to go into the stands. Barkley agreed.
“If a fan says something really, really rude, throw something on you, you should be able to say ‘come on down’ and bring him right down to halfcourt and y’all settle it like men,” Barkley said.
Westbrook had to be restrained from entering the stands to go after the fan.
“I wouldn’t come up to me on the street and throw popcorn on my head, because you know what happens. … In these arenas, you gotta start protecting the players. We’ll see what the NBA does,” he said after the game.
The 76ers later announced the fan had his season ticket membership revoked and was banned from all events at the Wells Fargo Center.
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