The Washington Wizards’ Isaiah Thomas was hit with a two-game suspension on Sunday due to him entering the stands to confront fans in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Several fans were also banned for the incident involving Thomas.
Thomas suspended after incident with fans
The incident in question occurred in the fourth quarter of the Wizards game in Philadelphia. Per ESPN, Thomas said after he made a free throw and was running back on defense there was a fan with “both of his middle fingers up.” According to Thomas, the fan said, ‘F— you, b—-,’ three times.”
“I said, ‘Don’t be disrespectful. I’m a man before anything. Be a fan.’ His response was, ‘I’m sorry, I just wanted a Frosty,'” Thomas said of the fan’s comments to him. The 76ers offer a promotion in their stadium where fans get a free Frosty if an opposing player misses two free throws in the fourth quarter.
Thomas was ejected for entering the stands to confront the fan and is now suspended. Reportedly, he identified the fan in question to security to have him removed as well.
Thomas said following the incident, “That crossed the line. I’ve got kids. I’ve got a family. That’s not OK at all. So I just went to go tell him that.”
“I’m never going to be disrespected in any way,” Thomas continued.
Second half of Isaiah Thomas’ media availability after approaching fans in Philadelphia tonight: pic.twitter.com/BPrqihmman
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 22, 2019
According to NBA.com, Thomas’ suspension will be for two games without pay. The fan Thomas confronted and another who was reportedly involved in the situation were both banned from Wells Fargo Center for a year.
Both fans involved are said to have admitted to their inappropriate language and gestures. The season-ticket holder who had those particular seats has also had them revoked and is getting a refund, per the 76ers.
Wizards Guard Isiah Thomas has been suspended 2 games after entering the spectator stands. He is suspended without pay. pic.twitter.com/9j9gzGTLpv
— Kris Pangilinan (@KrisReports) December 23, 2019
The Washington Wizards ended up losing the game to the 76ers, 125-108. Thomas finished with 20 points and three assists.
He may have also tweeted his reaction to the two-game suspension. On Sunday, Thomas tweeted “Bulls–t!” on his official Twitter account.
NBA rule in place to prevent ‘hostile interactions’
The NBA put a zero-tolerance policy into place this past October to address fans using abusive or hateful behavior. There were previous instances in the 2018-19 NBA season involving players including DeMarcus Cousins, Kyle Lowry, and Russell Westbrook.
The NBA’s rules indicate that a player is automatically ejected and subject to a fine or penalty just for entering the stands deliberately. Per NBA.com’s report, the “bright-line rule is intended to prevent altercations or other hostile interactions between players and fans, for the benefit of both.”
Thomas will begin serving his suspension when the Wizards take on the New York Knicks on Monday, December 23.