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Phoenix Suns color commentator Eddie Johnson called out the New Orleans Pelicans and alleged that they pumped in fake crowd noise.
During the Bally Sports Arizona broadcast, Johnson claimed that there was some sort of “machine” that was peppering in boos whenever Suns point guard Chris Paul had the ball in Sunday’s matchup.
JOHNSON’S CONSPIRACY THEORY
The best part of the clip is when Johnson says that he’s looking at everyone’s faces and there aren’t that many people actually booing. You know, because Johnson can see all 18,000 people’s mouths. Not to mention that the majority of boos usually comes from the higher level seats because that’s where many of the diehard fans are. So unless Johnson had binoculars, I don’t know what he’s talking about.
He essentially gave the “Just trust me” argument.
Also, what in the world is he referencing when he mentions a machine? I think if there was some sort of device that was rolled out and began belting out “boos,” people would notice.
Some Pelicans fans took to social media to disagree with Johnson and let him know that they were in fact booing the hell out of both the Suns and Chris Paul.
Pelicans fans may have been extra loud on Sunday after the two teams nearly came to blows on Friday night during the first of the two-game weekend set.
At the end of Friday’s game, Pelicans All-Star Zion Williamson did a 360 windmill dunk while the team had a substantial lead. The Suns were not pleased with Williamson and there was some back and forth shouting after the game.
IS USING FAKE CROWD NOISE WRONG?
The issue of pumping in crowd noise isn’t anything new. However, it has come with severe consequences in the past, especially in the NFL.
In 2016, the Atlanta Falcons were fined $350,000 and forfeited a fifth-round draft pick by the league after they were found to be using artificial sound during home games. The Cleveland Browns were also fined $250,000 and their general manager at the time, Ray Farmer, was suspended four games.
The NFL amended its’ stadium sound policies during the 2020 season when fans weren’t allowed to attend games during the pandemic. Stadiums can now play noise up to 70 decibels.
Television networks also routinely add sound to viewers at home.
NBA rules are different than those of the NFL. Arenas regularly play “De-fense” and other sounds to get the crowd pumped. The league only states that artificial sound can not be used when a player is at the foul line.
It’s unclear if the Pelicans arena was using louder than normal fake sound. But Eddie Johnson should also realize that maybe the Pelicans fans were legitimately booing Paul and the Suns. The fans realize that the two teams are going to be battling it out for the rest of the season. It’s called SPORTS, Eddie!
New Orleans defeated the Suns in both games over the weekend. They play again this coming Saturday in Phoenix. The Pelicans are currently in first place in the Western Conference at 18-8, while the Suns are in fourth place at 16-11.