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    Backlash from NBA brawl

    It may just be one of the worst brawls in the history of sports. Players and fans of the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers exchanged punches on Nov 19.

    The battle led to players being suspended, and potentially facing criminal charges, as well as fans involved. With 45.9 seconds left on the clock, Pacer’s Ron Artest fouled Piston’s Ben Wallace. Wallace then set free a hard shove to Artest’s chin.

    This led to a mid-court chaos of fighting among players of both teams. In the midst of this mayhem a fan near mid-court threw a drink (supposedly beer), and hit Artest. The apparently angered Artest, charged into the stands and attacked the fan whom he supposed threw the drink.

    Many are now baffled, confused, and shocked by the behavior of fans and players. Global past professor Rosemarie Plasse said, "Sports play a high role in our culture. He is a professional. No matter what, he shouldn’t have gone into the stands. It is unacceptable." Junior Brandon Carriere, a student of Plasse, disagreed, "But they threw beer on him. I think it was all right for him to go into the stands. I would have."

    Freshman NBA fanatic Hakim Jaliwa says he understands that the players were wrong for fighting each other, but the fans’ involvement caused the incident to become uncontrollable.

    "The city of Detroit should be fined. The fans thought they had more power," Jaliwa said. " An example has to be set. Why not start with Detroit and its fans."

    The question of what could have prevented this all-out clash between players and fans is on the minds of many people. Should Ron Artest have gone into the stands? Had any of the players been drinking? Are NBA players taught what do in dealing with violence from the fans? What example have these players set in the eyes of younger players?

    "This is a good opportunity for coaches to understand for every action, there’s a reaction. His [Artest] actions cost him 5 million dollars. For college players this could cost them their scholarship," said Dillard University Athletic Director Robin Harris. "If there is any good that came out of this, coaches can teach their players discipline and how to react."

    On Nov. 21 NBA commissioner David Sterne announced the suspensions of the players involved in the incident. "The penalties issued today deal only with one aspect of this incident – that of player misconduct. The actions of the players involved wildly exceeded the professionalism and self-control that should fairly be expected from NBA players," Sterne said in a quote featured on

    Artest will not play anymore games this season. Wallace is suspended for six games. The Pacers Jermaine O’Neal, who punched a fan, was given a suspension of 25 games. Stephen Jackson, also for the Pacers, is out for 30 games for assaulting a fan.

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    Backlash from NBA brawl