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#pounditWednesday, October 5, 2022

Donovan Mitchell issues statement in response to Russell Westbrook fan incident

Donovan Mitchell

Russell Westbrook got into a verbal altercation with a fan during a game in Utah earlier this week, and Jazz superstar Donovan Mitchell is speaking out against the inappropriate behavior from some fans that led to the exchange.

In a statement he released on Tuesday, Mitchell said he is “personally hurt” by the incident and does not want visiting players or players who might play for the Jazz in the future to feel what happened is a reflection on the fanbase as a whole.

“Racism and hate speech hurts us all, and this is not the first time something like this has happened at our arena,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he is committed to working with the Jazz and the NBA to make the Vivint Smart Home Arena “a place where all fans and players are welcome.”

A video initially showed Westbrook threatening to “f– up” a fan and his wife after the couple had heckled him during Monday night’s game. There was no context in the video, but Westbrook later told reporters he felt what the fans said to him was “disrespectful” and “racial.” The fan said he was jabbing Westbrook about having wraps on his knees late in the game, and the fan apparently said something about Westbrook getting down on his knees.

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