CPBL bans fans for expletive-laden tirades targeting player
Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Taiwan's professional baseball league on Monday decided to ban two fans from its games "indefinitely" for the first time in its 31-year history after the two repeatedly fired off expletives at a player during a game Sunday.
The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) said the two fans were found to have used vile language to insult Fubon Guardians' reliever Chen Hung-wen (陳鴻文) during the team's road game against the CTBC Brothers in Taichung.
The verbal assaults came as Chen was walking back to the dugout following a bench-clearing incident, though Chen was not involved in the incident and it was unclear why he was the one targeted.
For the safety of the league's players and all attending fans, the CPBL banned the two from attending all CPBL games from now on, the league said in a statement.
It was the first time the CPBL has barred a fan from attending games over his or her behavior directed at a player, though some fans have been barred from attending games after they got into verbal or physical altercations with other fans.
The league's decision came after the Brothers announced that the two fans would not be allowed to purchase tickets to the team's home games for their misconduct.
One of the two fans later told CTBC that he was willing to apologize to Chen in person, according to Brothers' Manager Liu Chih-wei (劉志威). The team is now discussing the issue with the Guardians.
Liu said the team welcomed fans to be passionate during games but that "certain lines cannot be crossed."
The team will add more CCTV cameras and beef up security in its home ballpark in Taichung to make sure similar incidents do not happen again, he said.
The Guardians, meanwhile, condemned the fans' verbal tirades at Chen, while calling on all fans to remain calm and react more rationally while attending games.
According to a video circulating over the Internet, the voices of two fans were heard shouting expletives at Chen following a bench-clearing brawl during Sunday's game. One of the voices was clearly heard calling him a "m*********er."
In the video, Chen is being restrained by his teammates from talking back to the fans before being escorted back to the dugout to prevent any further escalation of the situation.
The brawl erupted in the top of the fifth inning after Guardians' slugger Lin Yi-chuan (林益全) was hit by a pitch by CTBC starter Ariel Miranda.
The pitch was seen by some as payback after Fubon starter Henry Sosa hit Chang Chih-hao (張志豪) of the Brothers with a pitch two innings earlier after Chang had hit a homer in his previous at-bat.
Guardians beat the Brothers 7-3.
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