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Euro 2020: Several people hurt in Greenpeace parachute stunt

Jack Baer

Tue, June 15, 2021

Jack Baer

Jack Baer

Tue, June 15, 2021, 9:28 PM
MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 15: A paraglider lands on the pitch during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group F match between France and Germany on June 15, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)
A Greenpeace stunt didn’t go exactly as planned at Euro 2020. (Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)

A parachuting protestor, a stadium full of fans and one of the biggest soccer tournaments in the world. What could go wrong?

Thanks to a Euro 2020 game between Germany and France, we now know the answer.

A Greenpeace stunt at Tuesday’s match at Allianz Arena resulted in the hospitalization of several spectators after the parachuter — carrying a message “Kick out oil” — got tangled in wires and caused debris to fall on the pitch and stands, according to the BBC.

France coach Didier Deschamps nearly joined them, but reportedly managed to duck out of the way of a falling piece of equipment near the dugout. Here’s how the chaos played out:

The protestor was reportedly among those hurt thanks to a hard fall into the pitch.

UEFA was quick to condemn the protest, via the BBC:

“This inconsiderate act – which could have had very serious consequences for a huge number of people attending – caused injuries to several people attending the game who are now in hospital and law authorities will take the necessary action.

“The staging of the match was fortunately not impacted by such a reckless and dangerous action, but several people were injured nonetheless.”

Following the interruption, France came out on top 1-0.

After spectator runs onto court, Wizards’ coach urges misbehaving NBA fans to ‘stay home’

Cindy Boren, Scott Allen 6/1/21

The trend of NBA fans behaving badly continued Monday night when a spectator ran onto the court in what Washington Wizards Coach Scott Brooks called a “barbaric” display of behavior. In lengthy postgame comments, Brooks expressed the frustration and disbelief of players and coaches.

a group of people on a court: Dwight Howard had a close-up view of the incident. © Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post Dwight Howard had a close-up view of the incident.Over the past few days, a fan has thrown a water bottle toward Kyrie Irving, who had stepped on Boston’s center-court logo after the Nets beat the Celtics; a Knicks fan spat at Trae Young; Jazz fans berated the family of Ja Morant of the Grizzlies; and a 76ers fan dumped popcorn on the head of the Wizards’ Russell Westbrook in Philadelphia.

During Monday’s Game 4 of the Wizards-76ers series at Capital One Arena, a fan ran onto the court during the third quarter, getting no farther than a spot under the basket. Only the 76ers’ Dwight Howard was in the general vicinity, and the fan was quickly tackled by a security guard.

The incidents have not caused any injuries, but Brooks spoke emotionally for nearly five minutes about what happened in some of the first few games in which fans were back in arenas after coronavirus pandemic restrictions were loosened.

“It’s actually embarrassing for all those fans who do that. The NBA has great fans. I’ve played in Philadelphia. They have great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw popcorn. Boston has great fans. They have one knucklehead who decided to throw a water bottle. New York has great fans. I played there. I played in Boston, but I got cut,” Brooks told reporters. ”… New York has great fans. One knucklehead decided to spit on somebody. We have great fans. One knucklehead tried to come into the arena, and it’s unacceptable. It’s not good.”

Fans’ stunts over the past couple of weeks have brought a variety of repercussions, from the arrest of fan Cole Buckley in Boston to immediate ejection to the stripping of season tickets to being permanently banned from the arena.

“Banning them and this and that — what does that mean?” Brooks questioned. “Is there facial recognition that you can’t get a ticket on the secondary market and don’t shave for a week and wear a hat and still come in? I don’t know if there’s criminal charges, but they’ve got to get something on their record, and they’ve got to get exposed and they have to pay money out of their own pocket.”

Westbrook, the target of the popcorn-tossing fan, said he didn’t see the incident in Game 4. “This is our job,” he said. “This is not a game or some s— you can just do whatever you want to do and run around, and do whatever. This is our job, and we take our job very seriously.”

Bradley Beal said there is “no place” for it. “Either you sit there and enjoy the game or just sit at home and watch it on TV. We’re fortunate nobody got hurt and the security did its job, did a hell of a job to get him down, get him out of there.”

The larger worry is where this could lead, but Beal said he doesn’t “feel any less safe because I know no fan would try me individually.”

An action by an athlete against a fan would result in a lawsuit, Brooks pointed out, with the fan claiming he “can’t see, [he] broke his neck because the popcorn hit him. And all these athletes have to defend themselves and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and get their name tarnished.”

Part of the dynamic between players and fans involves heckling, and Brooks admitted he loves that aspect of the game. “I love it as a coach,” he said. “I love it. As a player, I loved it when they heckled me for my two minutes. Russell, he loves to be heckled, but there’s crossing the line.”

The National Basketball Players Association drew a distinction. “True fans of this game honor and respect the dignity of our players,” it said in a statement. “No true fan would seek to harm them or violate their personal space.”

Beal and Brooks urged fans who can’t control themselves to stay away.

“Your thinking is barbaric,” Brooks said. “Stay home. We don’t need you. We don’t need your dollars. Just stay home. Get away from us. Let the fans that enjoy it, let them be with their families enjoying it and cheer us on, heckle us, scream at us, say we stink and you’re 0 for 6 — we love that.”

But there’s a line that fans have crossed. “These fans, I mean, think about it. It’s just been happening and they have no fear,” Brooks said. “They have no fear.”

Irving compared NBA arenas to “a human zoo.” “It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment, performers and sports for a long period of time, just underlying racism and just treating people like they’re in a human zoo — throwing stuff at people and saying things,” he said. “We’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people performing.”

Morant’s father, Tee, told ESPN that fans subjected him and his family to racist and vulgar comments. “I know heckling,” Tee Morant said. “We were doing that the whole game. But that’s different than heckling. That’s straight up disrespectful. That was too far out of line. You don’t say nothing like that [in] heckling. That’s beyond heckling.”

Brooks agreed with Irving. “These players play so hard … and you love it when your players are so competitive and they’re on an edge. If your players aren’t on edge, you have no chance to win. But when you’re on an edge and somebody crosses the line, what do you think is going to happen? I mean, I give all of our players, all of them — there’s only been 5,000 NBA players in the history of the game and most of them can control themselves and I don’t know how. … Russell, I’ve been with him for eight years and what he has to listen to night in and night out [is] unacceptable. [The fans’] parents, they need to — I mean, my mom, I know my mom. I would’ve had the nearest branch ripped off and it would’ve been on my behind if I did something that stupid.”

Celtics fan who threw water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving charged with felony

Celtics fan who threw water bottle at Nets star Kyrie Irving charged with felony
Ben RohrbachMon, May 31, 2021

The Boston Celtics fan who threw a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving on Sunday night has been identified as Cole Buckley, 21, of Braintree, Massachusetts, according to the Boston Police Department. Buckley faces one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Boston Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Buckley allegedly threw a bottle of Dasani water in the direction of Irving as the Nets star entered the tunnel to leave the court following a 39-point performance in a 141-126 victory against the Celtics at TD Garden.

According to police records, security located the individual in question, and a police officer on detail at the arena arrested Buckley as the suspect. A witness from TD Garden security told police the water bottle grazed Irving’s head. A member of Nets security also witnessed the incident, which was caught on video.

Asked directly on Sunday night if the water bottle hit him, Irving responded in a conference call, “It doesn’t matter, honestly. … Anything could’ve happened with that water bottle being thrown at me, but my brothers were surrounding me, I had people in the crowd, so I’m just trying to get home to my wife and my kids.”

TD Garden is cooperating with Boston police and has issued a lifetime ban of Buckley.

“We will support and provide assistance to Boston Police as this incident is under review,” TD Garden spokesperson Tricia McCorkle said in a statement issued following the game. “We have zero tolerance for violations of our guest code of conduct, and the guest is subject to a lifetime ban from TD Garden.”

After the Nets took a 2-0 lead in their first-round series with the Celtics, Irving publicly expressed reservations about playing in front of Boston fans for the first time since leaving the team in 2019.

“Hopefully we can just keep it strictly basketball,” Irving told reporters on a conference call on Tuesday. “There’s no belligerence or any racism going on — subtle racism and people yelling s*** from the crowd.”

Irving was booed every time he touched the ball and showered with chants ranging from “f*** you Kyrie” and “Kyrie sucks” throughout Games 3 and 4 in Boston. Until the water bottle-throwing incident, Irving took the jeers in stride, even egging on the crowd as he struggled during a loss to the Celtics on Friday. He casually stepped on the head of the leprechaun in the Celtics logo at center court after the Game 4 win.

The alleged assault crossed the line beyond basketball, Irving said.

“It’s been that way in history in terms of entertainment and performers in sports for a long period of time,” Irving added on Sunday night, “and just underlying racism and treating people like they’re in a human zoo. Throwing stuff at people. Saying things. There’s a certain point where it gets to be too much. I called it out. I wanted to keep it strictly basketball, and then you just see that people just feel very entitled out here.

“They pay for their tickets — great, I’m grateful that they’re coming in to watch a great performance — but we’re not at the theater. We’re not throwing tomatoes and other random stuff at the people who are performing. It’s too much, and it’s a reflection on us as a whole when you have fans acting like that.”

Police arrested Cole Buckley, 21, for allegedly throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving after Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics. (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
Police arrested Cole Buckley, 21, for allegedly throwing a water bottle at Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving after Game 4 of their first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics. (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

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