A packed sporting event saw yet another ugly brawl between spectators on Friday night, when a fan of the Phoenix Suns mixed up with Denver Nuggets supporters during Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals at Suns Arena in Phoenix.
Video apparently captured by nearby spectators showed the two groups of fans seemingly parting ways after some bickering and shoving -- when a young man from the Nuggets group lunges with a wild haymaker at an older fan in a Suns jersey. The punch misses, and the Suns fan counters with a brutal flurry of hockey-style uppercuts while holding down the Nuggets fan, who appears dazed on his feet during and after the pounding.
The Suns fan then taunts the Nuggets fan he just pulverized, as well as his buddies, telling them "Suns in 4."
The disturbing scene is only the latest in a slew of ugly incidents involving fans since they've been permitted back into stadiums, ballparks and arenas in increasing numbers in recent weeks and months. Streaking has become a seemingly common occurrence, as are sometimes vicious brawls and nasty verbal exchanges. A couple fans have even spit at or thrown objects or food at players, while at least one security guard has been injured trying to chase down a streaker.
It's unclear what exactly is driving the apparent uptick in bad fan behavior. One theory is the relatively lower ticket prices have crowds skewing younger and therefore more lively and rambunctious after a year-plus cooped up inside or otherwise not allowed at large social gatherings.