The Jazz have permanently banned a fan whom Russell Westbrook said told him to get down on your knees like youre used to during Mondays game
The Utah Jazz have announced a lifetime ban of a fan who engaged in excessive and derogatory verbal abuse of Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook during Monday nights game in Salt Lake City.
The ban is effective immediately and includes all arena events, the team said in a statement issued on Tuesday, which added that it based its decision on an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts.
Shortly after the Jazz announced the ban, the NBA said Westbrook would be fined $25,000 for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.
The eight-time NBA All-Star got into a heated verbal altercation with the fan and his wife during the second quarter of Mondays game.
Early in the quarter, Westbrook stood up from the bench when he felt both fans directed a racial taunt at him. According to the Thunder guard, they told him to get down on my knees like I used to. After that, Westbrook was seen on video cursing at the man and threatening to fuck up him and his wife.
I promise you. You think Im playing. I swear to God, I swear to God, Ill fuck you up, Westbrook said. You and your wife, Ill fuck you up.
Westbrook expressed concern following the game with the verbal abuse he and teammates have received from fans on the road. Much of it has been directed at their families, according to Westbrook. He said he will no longer tolerate disrespect.
Theres got to be something done, Westbrook said. Theres got to be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I dont think its fair to the players.
Westbrook recently objected to a young fan touching him on the sideline during a game.
The fan, Shane Keisel, said in a TV interview that neither he nor his wife cursed at Westbrook, and that he had told Westbrook to ice those knees and added youre going to need it. Keisel said that his wife had not said anything to Westbrook.
He just went nuts, Keisel told ESPN. She never got up. She never stood up. She never said a word to him. I mean, its all fine, were having fun and games with the guy and were talking, but at the end of the day, no man should threaten a woman, period.
Westbrooks teammates came to his defense following the game. Raymond Felton, who did not play, sat near him on the bench when the altercation took place. Felton confirmed he also heard the taunts that had been directed at Westbrook.
Hes not coming off and talking to the fans, just saying stuff to them and just blurting out words, Felton said. Hes not. Theyre coming at him first. When is there going to be a point where theres going to be protecting those players? People can say whatever what they want to say us during games and yell out stuff and talk about our families and talk about our kids.
Westbrook finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists in 37 minutes.
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