In one of the most bizarre incidents in international basketball, a player in the Philippine Basketball Association has been suspended for a full season for punching and kicking a fan during a game. Wynne Arboleda will lose P2.73 million for the season.
It was just another basketball game in the Philippine Basketball Association on Friday. The Burger King Whoppers were down five points to Smart-Gilas in the second quarter (yes, those are real team names). When a Smart-Gilas player made a move to the basket, veteran PBA player Wynne Arboleda fouled him awkwardly, and earned himself a technical foul from the ref. He yelled at the ref and then turned his attention to a heckling fan on the sidelines.
That’s when things got ugly. Arboleda ran and kicked the sitting fan in the stomach and began raining down punches on his head. He was soon restrained by security personnel.
The PBA took this attack seriously. Arboleda has been suspended without pay for the rest of the 2009-10 season. It’s the most severe penalty handed down by the PBA against a player.
PBA Commissioner Sonny Barrios told Arboleda, according to the Manila Bulletin: “As we pointed out to you, even granting that said fan was foul-mouthed and verbally abusive as confirmed by reports to us, there is a ‘line’ that a PBA player cannot and should not cross: To physically harm a fan.”
Also, the ban means P2.73 million in lost income for Arboleda, as well as advancement and player award bonuses.
The Bulletin adds, “While serving his suspension, Arboleda cannot be present at the playing venues during Burger King’s games.”