Celeb sightings at sporting events can be the icing on the cake when it comes to showing up and rooting for your favorite teams. Just like any other sports fanatic, some celebrities are known to take the level of passion and fandom they hold for their faves to pretty crazy heights. Take actor Michael Rapaport’s viral rant about the Knicks’ drafting choices, or the time filmmaker Spike Lee egged Reggie Miller on from the sidelines and the legendary player aimed a choking hand signal at the star. Drake sightings, however, have proven to be the best. The avid Toronto Raptors supporter became so well known for his superfandom during the 2019 NBA playoffs that half the fun was tuning in to watch what antics he’d come up with next.
Of course, famous faces aren’t exactly immune to getting in trouble for their behavior at sporting events either (unless you’re Jack Nicholson … but more on that later). Tinseltown’s best can sometimes forget they don’t actually run the show while courtside, which can lead to them subsequently getting the boot. Read on to find out which of your favorite celebs have been thrown out of sporting events.
This Warriors part-owner got a bit too physical
Silicon Valley billionaire Mark Stevens was seemingly unknown in the celebrity world until the early summer of 2019. Sure, he joined the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest people in America eight years earlier, but he’d generally flown under the radar among the public. So, why did he suddenly shoot to celeb stardom? For being a rabid Golden State Warriors fan. But not just any fan — per Forbes, Stevens actually owns « an estimated 8% stake » in the NBA team, but made waves when he was ejected from a Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors game that June.
According to HuffPost Canada, Stevens received a subsequent year-long ban from the NBA and was slapped with a $500,000 fine. Just how badly does a team part-owner have to mess up to be banned by the league? Well, Stevens shoved Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in arm after the player chased after the ball and accidentally collided with another fan nearby where Stevens was sitting. It was not a good look. The Warriors even issued a statement apologizing on behalf of the minority team owner: « Mr. Stevens’ behavior last night did not reflect the high standards that we hope to exemplify as an organization. » Naturally, the controversial incident immediately trended online … even big league celebs like LeBron James spoke out against Stevens over the matter.
This funnyman’s behavior wasn’t very comedic
On the surface, Kevin Hart is known for being pretty hilarious. The entertainer has made a notable career for himself as a comedic machine, boasts a high following on Instagram, and earned a whopping $30 million from his successful Irresponsible Tour alone in 2018. Do a bit more digging, however, and you’ll see that the comedian has seemingly brushed some of his shadier behavior under the rug.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Hart was the talk of the evening when he took part in an NBA All-Star Celebrity game back in 2012. With a minute and a bit left in the game, the stand-up comic’s team held a 36-point lead over the opposition. However, Hart received a foul when he « dropped some profanity » following one of the ref’s calls. The media outlet notes that the funnyman then « struggled to whip his shirt off and then proceeded to hurl his sneakers across the court. » The stunt earned Hart some laughs, but he was ultimately kicked out of the game — and you can pretty much guarantee that sort of behavior wouldn’t have flown at all during any other event.
Nick Lachey reportedly got the biggest burn of his career
’90s boy band crooner Nick Lachey landed himself in some pretty embarrassing waters in 2012, when an alleged argument with a couple of fans led to him being escorted out of a Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Diego Chargers match (via USA Today). For his part, the 98 Degrees member later went on a bizarre Twitter rant about the incident, writing, « For the record, i was not kicked out of the chargers game for excessive ‘trash talking’. no, that honor belonged to the guy in front of me! » He added, « i simply don’t appreciate someone turning around and putting their finger in my face. call me crazy, but that deserved a reaction. »
Uh, what? The whole thing was almost as cringe as the time Lachey suggested Kim Kardashian had used him to gain her own celebrity. So, what exactly happened at the NFL game in question? According to TMZ, Bengals fan Lachey reportedly traded insults with a Chargers fan couple, but things supposedly turned physical after an offensive comment about a former Chargers player caused the wife to deliver the saltiest shade: « Well, he lasted longer than your boy band. » Ouch. After allegedly calling the wife a « f**king b**ch, » Lachey reportedly « lunged » at the husband, « grabbed him by the throat and shoved him to the ground. » However, Lachey’s rep continued to deny the reports, telling the gossip rag, « This was a verbal exchange between sports fans of opposing teams that went too far. »
Eric Stonestreet confirmed he’s nothing like Cam Tucker
Best known for playing the jovial yet sassy Cam Tucker on ABC’s Modern Family, Eric Stonestreet is nothing like his iconic character. « My character I play on TV is really outgoing and fun and whatever. I’m not as outgoing and as fun, » the actor revealed on the Dan Patrick Show in 2017. « So, when I meet people out on the street, in the beginning, it used to be like, ‘Are you not feeling very well? Is there something wrong with you?’ Well, no, this is just my personality. »
Looking for some real-life proof? Well, Stonestreet was actually escorted out of a baseball game in 2012 as the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the St. Louis Cardinals. According to TMZ, things reportedly turned heated after the TV star had some words for a « Cardinals fan after the guy heckled a Dodgers player. » Although he wasn’t banned from the rest of the game, Stonestreet was indeed escorted out. In response to the gossip rag’s story, the actor tweeted, « i did NOT get kicked out of the Dodgers game last night. did i get escorted to the top of the stairs by security? yes. yes i sure did. » Outgoing? Yes. Jovial? Eh, maybe not so much.
Was this rapper banned from all NBA events?
While rapper Lil Wayne has been on the fence about potentially retiring from the music industry, this hasn’t stopped him from making headlines for something other than his work … like the time the celeb allegedly got kicked out of a Miami Heat game in 2013. « So I’m @ da Heat game right, rootin 4 da Lakers kuz dats my team & would u believe they got police 2 make me leave?! » Lil Wayne tweeted at the time. « Wow! F#€k da Heat. » According to TMZ, the « Lollipop » rapper elaborated on the claim days later when he took to the stage at an All-Star Weekend event. « The NBA banned me from all NBA events, » he reportedly told the audience, adding, « Because the Miami Heat told them to ban me. »
Wait, what? It seemed a bit weird that a fan would get ejected from a game for merely rooting for the away team, let alone get banned by the league. Naturally, the goss site decided to do some further digging and discovered that Lil Wayne had reportedly gotten « into trouble for making a gun gesture at another fan. » Bingo. That said, TMZ later confirmed with NBA Senior Director of Basketball Communications Mark Broussard that there was actually « no truth at all » to the rapper’s claims. Case closed.
Jack Nicholson has more power than you think
It’s no secret that Jack Nicholson is a die-hard fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, CBS News reports that the iconic actor has long been the ultimate loyal supporter while owning courtside seats since the 1970s. As it turns out, being such a Lakers devotee allows you some power, too.
During a 2013 appearance on Conan, Extra host Maria Menounos revealed that the Anger Management actor once got her kicked out of a Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics game. « We made it our business, our second job, to go to all these games and really rally for our team, » the Celtics fan dished to host Conan O’Brien. « And all of a sudden — we’re courtside, I’m screaming, going crazy — I get booted! These guys come and pull us out! I’m like, ‘What is going on?' » However, the story got even better: Menounos later ran into Nicholson himself at the Chairman’s Lounge later on that day. « He’s like, ‘Heh, heh, heh, heh.’ And I thought really quickly and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what if he…’ And he’s like, ‘I see they moved your seat.’ He got me kicked out! I heard later he called [late Lakers owner] Jerry Buss and had me removed! »
There’s truly no better mental image than a smug Jack Nicholson chortling at his own success.
This hometown-proud rocker went just a bit too far
Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis loves to represent his home of Los Angeles, California. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at all the instances his band has mentioned the Golden State in their songs — and we’re not just talking « Californication. » There’s also the time Kiedis cited California as on the « front lines » of preventing climate change in an open letter. It turns out, the « Dani California » crooner isn’t just passionate about the significant issues plaguing California — he’s passionate about his sports teams, too.
Often spotted courtside with his bandmates at L.A. Lakers games, Kiedis found himself ejected from a match when the Lakers took on the Houston Rockets in 2018. Entertainment Tonight reports the singer apparently got the boot after « yelling » at Rockets point guard and State Farm spokesman Chris Paul and « flipping someone the bird. » Kiedis’ outburst got so animated, in fact, that security guards reportedly had to hold him back before escorting him out of the Staples Center.
The NBA isn’t exactly Margaritaville
Jimmy Buffett’s hit song « Margaritaville » makes us think of the laid-back crooner as someone who’s made a name for himself with easy-listening songs and totally chill lifestyle. According to The New York Times, Buffet’s company, Margaritaville Holdings, even rivals that of lifestyle brand owner Gwyneth Paltrow. From resorts, outdoor furniture, margarita mix, and scented candles, the « Cheeseburger in Paradise » singer undoubtedly knows how to relax.
That’s why fans were shocked when Buffett got ejected from a New York Knicks vs. Miami Heat game in 2001: it was very off-brand for the easy-going star. « He was using profanity, » a ref from the game later dished to the Los Angeles Times, explaining why he booted the famed singer. « There was a little boy sitting next to him and a lady sitting by him. He used some words he knows he shouldn’t have used, so I asked security to move him to another location. » What exactly did Buffett say? According to the New York Daily News, Buffett later admitted to Sports Illustrated that he « just » said « you stupid, motherf**ker, that is the worst call I ever heard. » How very un-Margaritaville.
You can’t kick out a legend
Oh yes, Jack Nicholson has made our list twice, proving yet again he’s practically a god when cheering on his favorite NBA team. According to BBC News, the legendary actor got a bit too passionate during an L.A. Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs game in 2003 after Shaquille O’Neal received multiple fouls. Nicholson apparently stepped onto the court to yell at the ref, and even used some of his start power when asked to take his seat, reportedly shouting things like, « I pay a lot of money for this seat » and « This is the NBA, you can’t tell me to sit down. »
Although he was technically on the court, the news outlet reports that Nicholson would have indeed « been thrown out if he had encroached onto the playing area. » Regardless, we have a feeling if it was any other fan, security wouldn’t have been as lenient. For his part, O’Neal later defended The Shining star, declaring to the press, « I’m glad somebody sticks up for me — I appreciate it, Jack. » Win.
Go Gaga, go!
Long before Lady Gaga was making waves as an elegant, Academy Award-winning crooner, she had some, well, admittedly not-so-classy moments. According to Digital Spy, the pop star was reportedly once stopped by cops in Chicago for alleged « indecent exposure, » while another time, she attended a Mets game while donning a bejeweled bra.
One of our fave Gaga-going-gaga antics? The New York Post reports the singer-songwriter allegedly got kicked out of — and was supposedly « permanently banned » from — the Yankees’ team clubhouse in 2010 for reportedly « swigging whiskey and repeatedly fondling her boobs. » At the time, she apparently wore « a Yankees jersey half-unbuttoned, exposing her black bra, fishnet stockings and a bikini bottom. » Uh oh.
Luckily for Lady Gaga, the baseball team’s general manager, Brian Cashman, later told the Associated Press, « She’s not banned. That was the wrong time and the wrong place. It’s been taken care of » (via National Post). While what exactly happened in this clubhouse situation has remained a bit murky, it did make for some great headlines. And for that, we give the Mother Monster a round of applause.