In Response…

I received the following email not long ago on the Raptors Insider mailing list. Since I had posted critically earlier, I felt it was appropriate to publish the official response.

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Dear Sean,

At Wednesday's Raptors game against the Philadelphia 76ers an incident took place where two fans were escorted from Air Canada Centre. Some media reports allege these two were ejected because they were displaying a sign that was critical of our general manger[sic].

That was not the case. Had they been ejected because of their sign, their removal would have occurred in the first minute rather than in the 46th minute of the game.

The NBA has a Code of Conduct in place in all 30 arenas. These two gentleman were approached twice by NBA security personnel and informed that their conduct was interfering with the rights of other fans to enjoy the game. The second time they were warned for their misbehaviour, they were presented with a "Yellow Card" as stipulated by the NBA's code of Conduct.

Security personnel continued to observe the pair and upon receiving further complaints from fans about their behaviour, escorted them from the arena with two minutes remaining in the game.

These individuals were in clear violation of the following rules:

  • Guests will enjoy the basketball experience free from disruptive behavior, including foul or abusive language or obscene gestures.
  • Guests will sit only in their ticketed seats and show their tickets when requested.

People have the right say and express their point of view so long as it does not disrupt the fans around them. Security cameras in the building captured the entire incident and confirmed our belief at the time that NBA security acted professionally and appropriately.

Fan are always encouraged to express their point of view. However, they are reminded that in doing so the game experience must remain an enjoyable one for all.

Thanks and we hope to see you at Air Canada Centre,

Robert J. Hunter
Executive Vice President & General Manager
Air Canada Centre

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