After an 85-82 Atlanta Hawks' victory over Orlando, a former NBA referee allegedly attacked Hall of Famer and current Atlanta Hawks television analyst Dominique Wilkins along press row. Rashan Michel, who is sporting a black eye in his mugshot, faces misdemeanor assault charges over the confrontation. The former official says the dispute stemmed from Wilkins' failure to pay for $12,000 in custom suits. Michel took to Twitter to make case. Tweeting at Wilkins' account (DWilkins21), Michel wrote, "Pay your debts, poser." He also says Wilkins hit him first, but police deny that claim.
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Rick Rypien vs. Wild fan
After fights with Minnesota's Brad Staubitz, the Canucks forward was given a double minor for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct. As he exited the ice, Rypien grabbed a Wild fan by the shirt and had to be pulled away by teammate Manny Malhotra. Rypien was immediately suspended pending a hearing with the NHL to determine how long he will sit. Here are more 22 notorious player-fan altercations in stadiums and arenas from across sports. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Predators vs. Storm fans
During the second quarter of Orlando's Arena Football League game against the Tampa Bay Storm at the St. Pete Times Forum, offensive lineman Julius Wilson tossed a ball to his father, who was seated behind the Predators' bench. When a fan knocked the ball away and Wilson's father began scuffling with several other fans, Wilson and teammate Bobby Sippio went into the stands to break it up. Both players were ejected and 10 fans were tossed out of the building. Wilson was later suspended for the rest of the season. Sippio got a one-game ban. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
4 of 24Len Redkoles/Getty Images
John Tortorella vs. Capitals fans
During a 4-0 first round playoff game loss to the Capitals in Washington, the fiery coach of the New York Rangers erupted at taunting fans behind his team's bench. Tortorella squirted water over the glass, threw the water bottle -- hitting a woman in the stands -- and brandished a stick. . "While it is a difficult decision to suspend a coach at this point in a playoff series, it has been made clear to all of our players, coaches and other bench personnel that the National Hockey League cannot -- and will not -- tolerate any physical contact with fans," NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell said in a statement announcing that Tortorella would sit out the Rangers' next game. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
5 of 24Tom Cammett/Getty Images
James Harrison vs. Browns fan
When a fan ran onto the field during the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 41-0 rout in Cleveland, the Steelers linebacker flattened him and kept him down until security arrived with handcuffs. "I basically took him down because when he first came out, he took off after (teammate Verron Haynes], then he was backing up near our sideline," said Harrison, who received no punishment from the NFL. "I don't know if he had anything on him or whatever. So I felt like, with his back to me, I could take him down without risking injury to myself or my teammates and hold him there until the proper authorities came." CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Pacers vs. Pistons fans
The Malice at Palace remains the NBA's most infamous brawl between players and fans. During the final minute of their game, Ben Wallace of the Pistons and Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers got into a shoving match that incited fans in Detroit's Palace at Auburn Hills to throw things onto the court. When Artest was hit, he and teammate Stephen Jackson charged into the stands, setting off a blizzard of punches, trash, beer, popcorn and even a chair. "It's the ugliest thing I've seen as a coach or player," said Pistons coach Larry Brown, who tried to break up the battle. Artest received the longest suspension in NBA history: 73 games plus the playoffs. Jackson was banned for 30 games. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Rangers vs. A's fans
After Texas relievers got sick of verbal abuse in Oakland and left their bullpen to confront the offending fans, pitcher Frank Francisco picked up a folding chair and heaved it into the stands, striking a man in the head and breaking a woman's nose. Francisco was charged with aggravated battery and suspended for the rest of the season. Pitcher Carlos Almanzar and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo received five-game bans. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Ted Leonsis vs. Capitals fan
The Capitals owner received a week's suspension and his franchise was fined $100,000 after he scuffled with a heckler in Washington's MCI Center. The fan, a season ticket holder upset with the team's poor play and the recent trade of star forward Jaromir Jagr, had been serenading Leonsis as he sat in his luxury box during a loss to Philadelphia. The penalty was said to be the first ever handed out by the NHL to a team owner for physical contact with a fan.
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Royals vs. The Ligues
In one of baseball's most bizarre and alarming incidents, William Ligue Jr. and his son William III ran on the field at Chicago's Comiskey Park and jumped Royals first base coach Tom Gamboa, who they had been taunting. As the demented pair pummeled Gamboa, the rest of the Royals piled on to defend him. Gamboa suffered permanent hearing loss from the attack. The father pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and got 30 months probation. His son got five years worth.
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Tie Domi vs. Flyers fan
When Domi was jeered as he sat in the penalty box in Philadelphia, the Maple Leafs' enforcer stood up and squirted water over the glass at his assailants. A heckler then rushed the glass and toppled over it, landing on Domi. The two then traded punches. The fan was ejected from the arena and given a citation. Domi was fined $1,000 by the NHL. "Hey that's old-time hockey, it was perfect," Domi later said with a laugh. "Hey, he comes into my territory, that's what happens." CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Matthew Barnaby vs. Panthers fan
The Penguins winger was hit with a four-game suspension (basically a $53,000 fine in terms of lost pay) after he got into a heated exchange with a heckler while entering the tunnel between the ice and the teams' dressing rooms in Florida's National Car Rental Center arena.
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Dodgers vs. Cubs fans
After being showered with beer and abuse as they sat in their bullpen at Wrigley Field, Dodgers relievers took matters into their own hands when a fan stole the cap off catcher Chad Kreuter's head. Kreuter, his teammates and even Dodger coaches John Shelby and Rick Dempsey went into the stands to exact revenge. In all, 16 Dodgers and three coaches were suspended.
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Astros vs. Brewers fan
Houston Astro right fielder Bill Spiers suffered whiplash when he was jumped by a fan who came out of the stands at Milwaukee's County Stadium in the sixth inning. Spiers was rescued by teammates. Pitcher Mike Hampton threw a beating on the fan, who was arrested and charged with battery and disorderly conduct.
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Vernon Maxwell vs. Blazers fan
The Houston Rockets' guard took exception to a heckler and charged 12 rows into the stands at Portland's Memorial Coliseum. Maxwell's journey, and the subsequent punch he delivered, relieved his wallet of $20,000 and the Rockets of his services for 10 games.
15 of 24Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Eric Cantona vs. Crystal Palace fan
The Manchester United striker lived up to the name of his position by leaping into the stands and karate-kicking a fan in the chest. Cantona, who had been ejected from the game when he took exception to the fan's taunts, was charged with assault and served a nine-month suspension. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Albert Belle vs. Indians fan
Taking exception being called "Joey" and invited to a keg party -- a dig at his stint in an alcohol rehab program -- Belle picked up a ball and fired it at the offending fan in the stands at Cleveland Stadium. The throw, from about 15 feet away, nailed the fan in the chest. Belle was suspended for six games.
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Charles Barkley vs. Nets fans
When Sir Charles of the 76ers decided to unload some saliva on a heckler at the Meadowlands, he ended up hitting an eight-year-old girl. Barkley apologized after he was ejected, but the NBA nailed him with a one game suspension without pay and a $10,000 fine.
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Padres vs, Braves fans
An ugly game filled with beanballs and four on-field brawls riled fans in Atlanta so much that one hit Padres outfielder Kurt Bevacqua in the head with a beer. Police stopped Bevacqua from going into the stands, and Braves Chris Chambliss and Jerry Royster tackled another would-be attacker near third base. In all, five fans were arrested and Padres manager Dick Williams was suspended 10 days and fined $10,000 for instructing his pitchers to throw at Braves batters. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
19 of 24MLB Photos via Getty Images
Reggie Smith vs. Giants fans
The outfielder took six innings worth of razzing from a Giants fan behind the Dodgers' dugout in Candlestick Park before he got fed up and went into the stands. Smith punched heckler Mark Dooley but was quickly pummeled by other fans and had to be rescued by teammates who fought with his attackers. Smith was thrown out of the game and eight fans were arrested and charged with misdemeanors. Dooley ended up in the hospital.
20 of 24B Bennett/Getty Images
Bruins vs. Rangers fans
As Boston's 4-3 victory ended with the Bruins exchanging words with several Rangers, fans at New York's Madison Square Garden started throwing stuff on the ice. When a fan hit winger Stan Jonathan and grabbed his stick, several Bruins, including captain Terry O'Reilly, Mike Milbury and Peter McNab climbed into the stands. Milbury pounded one fan with a shoe. Several other fans, including a woman, were punched or slapped. O'Reilly received an eight-game suspension, Milbury and McNab got six, and all were fined $500. The NHL was also moved to install higher glass around the rink. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
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Buckeyes vs. Minnesota
The Buckeyes were leading Minnesota 50-44 with 36 seconds left when the Ohio State's Luke Witte was fouled hard and knocked down as he drove for a layup. Minnesota's Corky Taylor offered to help Witte up, only to knee him in the groin. As the teams began brawling, Gophers fans stormed the court and attacked the Buckeyes. Taylor and teammate Ron Behagen were suspended and Ohio's governor described the incident as "Gang warfare in an athletic arena." CLICK HERE to watch the video.
22 of 24George Silk/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Indians vs. Yankees fans
Two fans jumped out of the stands at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning and attacked Indians centerfielder Jimmy Piersall (pictured) who knocked one down with a punch and took off after the other, who fled. Teammates Johnny Temple and Walt Bond soon joined in the chase and pummeled the sap as Piersall kicked at him.
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Duke vs. North Carolina
The two bitter college hoops rivals squared off before a national TV audience in a game filled with altercations that whipped the packed crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium into a frenzy. With the Blue Devils up 80-75 and 15 seconds left to play, North Carolina point guard Larry Brown raced to the basket only to be grabbed by Duke's Art Heyman. Brown threw the ball and then a punch at Heyman, triggering a flood of players, coaches and fans who engaged in a wild melee. Heyman, Brown and UNC's Donnie Walsh were later suspended by the ACC for the rest of the season. CLICK HERE to watch the video.
24 of 24Sporting News/ZUMA Press/Icon SMI
Ty Cobb vs. Yankee fan
The Tigers' notoriously hotheaded outfielder snapped after days of heckling at Yankee Stadium and went into the stands to viciously pummel a man who turned out to have only one hand. When Cobb was suspended for a week, his teammates refused to play until he was reinstated. (The Tigers actually fielded a replacement team for one game, a 24-2 loss that inspired Cobb to convince his teammates to return.)
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