Jazz Owner on Russell Westbrook Incident: 'We Are Not a Racist Community'


Russell Westbrook confronts disrespectful Utah Jazz fan Shane Keisel.

Jazz owner Gail Miller addressed Utah fans in the wake of Monday's incident.

She concluded her statement by saying "No one wins when respect goes away", while additional emails were reportedly sent out to season ticket holders to remind them that tickets can be revoked for unruly behavior. "Here in Utah, man, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans". Artest ended up with an 86-game suspension and Wallace got six games.

Fast forward 15 years later to Monday night, where an agitated Russell Westbrook shouted, "I will f- you up".

Westbrook warned the fan, but the fan again repeated what he said and Westbrook directed security to look into the matter.

"Multiple players including Jazz players Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert backed Westbrook in how he handled the altercation in which he told the fan, "'I'll f-k you up.

Per The Salt Lake Tribune, the Jazz periodically flashed a message across the arena's screens last night which stated: "No disruptive behavior". Obscene language or gestures, fighting, throwing objects, attempting to enter the court or interrupting play. Violators may be subject to ejection and other penalties, including a lifetime ban.

Miller's speech lasted roughly three and a half minutes. Others have not been as pleasant, and Denver's Will Barton said he believes fans know they can get a reaction from Westbrook.

Once the incident occurred, many fans assumed that Westbrook was just guilty of being thin-skinned while receiving a heckling from a persistent fan. Violators are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and each team handles things its own way. "If it is determined that any fans violated the NBA Code of Conduct, appropriate action will be taken".

The Thunder drop to 42-27 on the season, and fall a half game behind the Houston Rockets for third place in the Western Conference standings, and in a virtual tie with Portland for fourth place.

In an interview after the game he told reporters that what at first seemed like a good natured exchange took an ominous turn when he told Westbrook, to quote, "Sit down and ice your knees, bro".

Former NBA star Matt Barnesadmitted in December that he had experienced racist fans during his 14-year-career and described Utah as being very racial and as having more "N-words than black people in the city". Fans who do that, need to be reminded that the player has just as much right as they do, to fight back.

Russell Westbrook's heated verbal confrontation at a game in Utah was just the latest example in what appeared to be a growing trend of racist taunts from the National Basketball Association fans.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.