Sitting at 2-8, the New York Knicks are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference and are struggling through another NBA season. Fans of this longtime franchise aren't happy, to the point that one started a "Fire Dolan" chant on Sunday night in reference to owner James Dolan. In response, six security members removed the fan from his seat and escorted him from the stands.
While it was originally reported that the fan, Andrew Padilla, had been ejected from Madison Square Garden for chanting "Fire Dolan," this was not actually the case. Instead, he was taken to the arena's basement. The security team did say that he could return to his seat upon agreeing to follow the fan code of conduct. Padilla chose to leave and spend his money elsewhere.
In a later tweet, Padilla said that one of the security team members asked "don't you think he's trying to make a better team?" in reference to Dolan.
This isn't the first time that someone has been removed from their seats at MSG for criticism of the Knicks owner. Back in 2017, former NBA player Charles Oakley received a ban after an incident at the arena in which he got into a shoving match with security. The longtime Knicks enforcer had purchased his own tickets to a game against the Clippers, and his seats just happened to be right behind Dolan.
Following the security team physically removing him from the arena, Oakley was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, one misdemeanor count of aggravated harassment, and one misdemeanor count of trespassing. He was also cited for two additional counts of harassment. Although those were considered noncriminal violations.
Oakley later accepted a plea deal that removed all of the charges, provided he remains out of trouble for six months and stay away from MSG for an entire year. This wasn't a concern at the time considering that Oakley said he had "no plans" to go to MSG.
While the former Knicks player in Oakley dealt with a legal battle following his removal from his seats, the fan who chanted "Fire Dolan" had a different outcome after being escorted by security. He was simply able to leave the arena and later tweet about the interactions.
(Photo Credit: John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty)