Connect with us

News

Russell Westbrook Receives $25K Fine, Utah Jazz Bans Aggressive Fan

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment.”

Westbrook
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook celebrates after scoring a game-winning, three-point shot at the buzzer against the Denver Nuggets. Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

The Utah Jazz organization has come out in full support of Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) star Russell Westbrook. He was involved in a verbal altercation with a fan during Monday’s game in Salt Lake City.

The team announced a permanent ban on Shane Keisel, the fan involved in the dispute, based on “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” directed toward Westbrook.

Utah Jazz President Steve Starks said, “Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment. Offensive and abusive behavior does not reflect the values of the Miller family, our organization and the community,” in a statement on NBA.com.

Jazz players also came out in solidarity with the OKC star.

Forward Thabo Sefolosha wrote, “I stand 100% with Russell Westbrook on what happened in yesterday’s game. I love our fans but there are limits that can not be crossed,” in an Instagram post.

Star Donovan Mitchell shared how he was impacted by the exchange. “As a black man living in a community I love, and playing on a team a that gives me the opportunity to leave out my dreams, this incident hits close to home. Racism and hate speech hurts us all, and this is not the first time something like that has happened in our area.”

Utah Jazz fans have developed a reputation around the NBA for ruthless taunting and heckling, but Mitchell claimed there has been great progress made toward developing a positive environment.

“The Utah that I have come to love is welcome and inclusive and last night’s incident is not indicative of our fanbase. We don’t want to create a negative reputation for athletes who potentially may want to come to Utah,” he wrote.

While the Jazz organization and players offered support to Westbrook, he was fined $25,000 for directing “profanity and threatening language to a fan,” by the NBA.

The point guard accused Keisel of saying, “Get down on your knees like you’re used to,” during the first half of the game. He replied, “I promise you. You think I’m playing. I swear to God, I swear to God, I’ll f**k you up. You and your wife, I’ll f**k you up.”

Keisel denied Westbrook’s claims and originally told ESPN he said, “Ice those knees up! You’re going to need it,” in “fun.” He was later found to have a documented history of violent, racist and xenophobic tweets geared toward the NBA star.

Trending

DeMar Derozan, Instagram, EBONY DeMar Derozan, Instagram, EBONY

NBA Stardom Isn’t a Cure for Mental Health Issues

EBONY Exclusive

Lorraine Harris-Fox, De'Aaron Fox, NBA Lorraine Harris-Fox, De'Aaron Fox, NBA

Kings’ De’Aaron Fox Honors His Mom’s Breast Cancer Fight

EBONY Exclusive

Toronto Raptor Kyle Lowry Wants Fan Banned for Life After Being Shoved by Him During NBA Finals Game 3 [VIDEO]

News

Cubs Investigating Fan's 'Offensive' Gesture Toward Black Reporter Cubs Investigating Fan's 'Offensive' Gesture Toward Black Reporter

Cubs Investigating Fan’s ‘Offensive’ Gesture Toward Black Reporter

Entertainment

Advertisement
Connect
Join EBONY.com