Thursday, January 19, 2006

Supporting Antonio Davis

Antonio Davis, the New York Knick forward, went into the stands last night during an away game against the Chicago Bulls when he observed that a fan menacing his wife who was in the stands.

There were no punches thrown and no apparent physicality.

Davis was automatically ejected from the game and faces a fine and/or suspension from the commissioner's office.

It's critical that players do not threaten paying customers, this holds true for Ricardo Rodriguez, Ron Artest and anyone else.

ESPN's Chris Sheridan who says, "No matter how benign Davis' foray ended up being, it was totally unacceptable."

However, in this case I totally disagree. What is important here (and could be borne out by evidence during the investigation or not) is why Davis went into the stands. If he legitimately believed that his wife was in PHYSICAL danger then he has a legitimate right to go into the stands. The nature of the danger is important though - it would not be justified if she was only being aggressively heckled - that is part of the nature of the game. It would wrong to punish someone who acted to physically defend his or her family - if Davis' wife was being pummelled and he could have gotten there faster than security - should he stand at the out of bounds line and shout for help??

Stern should go for a perfunctory fine and no suspension citing the extraordinary circumstances around this case which is not comparable to the Artest brawl.

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