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Fans ‘attempted to give unwanted hugs’ to Chris Paul’s family sparking ejection, team says

Fans ‘attempted to give unwanted hugs’ to Chris Paul’s family sparking ejection, team says
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Fans ‘attempted to give unwanted hugs’ to Chris Paul’s family sparking ejection, team says

Fans ‘attempted to give unwanted hugs’ to Chris Paul’s family sparking ejection, team says

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In the Dallas Mavericks play-off game against the Phoenix Sons on Sunday, two supporters “tried to give an unwanted hug” to Chris Paul’s family members, officials said.

Mavericks issued a statement Monday afternoon after the American Airlines Center and Mavericks Security and officials completed an investigation into the incident.

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Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3), Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) and Reggie Bullock, right, working to pass the ball in the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball second-round playoff series on Sunday, May 8, 2022, In Dallas.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3), Dallas Mavericks forward Maxi Kleber (42) and Reggie Bullock, right, working to pass the ball in the first half of Game 4 of the NBA basketball second-round playoff series on Sunday, May 8, 2022, In Dallas.
(AP Photo / Tony Guterres)

“At a public gathering at the American Airlines Center, two unruly fans tried to hug unwillingly and have a conversation with Paul’s family members,” he said. Read the statement. “AAC security responded immediately when informed by the family and the fans were quickly expelled from the game. Fans involved in the incident will not be allowed to return to the field until 2023.”

Paul raised eyebrows on Sunday in a tweet about fans harassing his family during the team’s play-off game against Mavericks. Paul, a former president of the National Basketball Players ‘Association, said the NBA prefers to fine players for hitting fans but said fans were allowed to lay hands on players’ family members.

“I want to fine the players for saying something to the fans but the fans can lay hands on our family … f — he !!” He tweeted.

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The video, posted on social media, shows fans being safely evacuated from their seats. Paul appeared in the background and tried to confront a fan as he was leaving.

According to ESPN, Paul’s family members were harassed by fans and some in the crowd had physical contact with them.

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, 25, and guard Chris Paul, second from right, walk off the court after the NBA Basketball second round play-off series game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, May 8, 2022 in Dallas.

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges, 25, and guard Chris Paul, second from right, walk off the court after the NBA Basketball second round play-off series game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday, May 8, 2022 in Dallas.
(AP Photo / Tony Guterres)

Suns coach Monty Williams said Monday that in the light of the incident, a special section should be considered reserved for the families of NBA players.

“It’s a tough one, because it’s happening more and more,” Williams said. “The situation has now reached a point where I really feel like a family, those who are there to support their loved ones, they need to be a little more secure. We have to give these people a section, a suit or not, have something to do.

“Because we can’t wait for it to reach a higher level or two before we do what we have to do. Yesterday was unnecessary.”

Sons forward Cam Johnson said a similar situation occurred in Milwaukee last season during the NBA Finals when his girlfriend hit him in the back of the head and spilled beer on him. That fan was eventually kicked out of the game.

May 8, 2022;  Dallas, Texas, USA;  Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) responded to a sixth foul call against the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter of the second round for the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Center and responded to a foul from the game.

May 8, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) responded to a sixth foul call against the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter of the second round for the 2022 NBA Playoffs at the American Airlines Center and responded to a foul from the game.
(Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports)

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“A big part of the responsibility has to be on the fans,” Johnson said. “They can’t work that way. There’s no other way around it. You have to solve the problem with the real problem. It’s that a fan can’t go to someone’s mother and harass them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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