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Bad fan behavior has been one of the biggest recurring stories of the NBA playoffs, but that doesn't mean it's not present in other sports.
Take, for example, MLB, where San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham has seen fans cross a very particular line this season. Specifically, they're taunting him about the offseason incident in which he was stabbed outside a night club, he told the San Diego Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee.
He apparently hears about it even at his home park:
“Fans have been very disrespectful this year,” Pham said. “I actually saw a fan who was talking (trash) to me. I saw him outside the stadium. I said, ‘What’s up? You still want to talk that (trash)?’ He went completely blank. That just shows you people feel entitled.”
That was at Petco Park, where he said it is “common” to hear people taunt him about an offseason incident in which he was stabbed and required surgery.
Pham was stabbed the night of Oct. 11 outside Pacers Showgirls International, a San Diego strip club he has since sued for improperly handling a brawl outside its parking lot that eventually pulled in Pham. Pham claimed to have sustained "catastrophic injuries" as a result of the stabbing, though he was still active on opening day this season after undergoing surgery.
MLB responds to Tommy Pham's comments
Pham told the Union-Tribune that he has seen other forms of abuse, to the point that he requested a fan in Houston be removed from a game. He seems to want the league to step in over such abuse, much as the NBA has been trying to do with its own fans:
“I need to talk to MLB,” he said. “The vulgarity this year, the gestures, I’ve never seen it at this level. I want to know if this is just because fans have been gone for a year and now they’re back and acting a certain way. That (stuff) shouldn’t be tolerated.”
MLB reportedly issue this statement in response:
“Preserving the safety of our on-field personnel and our fans is essential to us. We will continue to devote resources to emphasizing and enforcing the applicable laws and codes of conduct and providing an enjoyable experience at our ballparks.”
Pham is in his second year with the Padres, currently hitting .242/.376/.363 with five homers and 11 stolen bases in 64 games. He has managed to overcome a brutal start to the season, hitting .321 in his last 24 games.
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