Usher stops Manhattan traffic for Ping-Pong game (Video)

Yahoo Sports
Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK – Traffic in midtown Manhattan around lunchtime can be absolutely brutal. It doesn’t help when a celebrity decides to stop traffic with an impromptu Ping-Pong match in the middle of Sixth Ave.

But hey, it’s Usher Raymond. Who doesn’t love Usher?

Around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday in New York City, Usher and his paddling opponent took a Ping-Pong table from the sidewalk to the middle of the avenue, between 46th and 47th streets, during a red light, flanked by a few photographers and a flock of onlookers keeping their distance.

And they started playing.

They knocked the ball back and forth until the light turned green and … they stayed in the middle of Sixth Ave.

Here’s video. (WARNING: Might have a few NSFW words)

Taxi cabs and cars came to a halt, and then slowly started to snake around them as they continued the game. There were some horns, but not many – partially because it’s New York and what’s the point, and probably because it was the first time a celebrity shut down a major throughway in Manhattan with a Ping-Pong match. Well, at least this week.

After about five minutes, they dragged the table back to the sidewalk and took a few more photos as traffic flowed again. (And before any police arrived.)


Usher is appearing on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Thursday night, and appeared on “The Today Show” earlier in the week to promote his role in the Global Citizen concert.

Next month, Usher will appear sans paddle but with boxing gloves, as he portrays Sugar Ray Leonard in “Hands of Stone,” a bio-pic about the great Roberto Duran starring Robert De Niro.

No word when he’ll be back in New York, presumably to play Foosball inside the Holland Tunnel.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.