Ja Morant’s family members weren’t the only ones who got heckled by Utah Jazz fans in Game 2 of their playoff series in Salt Lake City.
Morant’s father Tee joined “Jason and John” on 92.9 FM in Memphis on Friday. Tee told the hosts that Jazz fans heckled Dillon Brooks’ family, calling them “half-breeds.”
The Jazz banned three fans for their behavior towards Morant’s family. On the same day this week, the NBA banned fans in three different cities. In addition to Utah, there were fan issues in New York with a fan spitting on Trae Young. And in Philadelphia, a fan was banned for dumping popcorn on Russell Westbrook.
The Utah Jazz announced on Thursday that they had banned three fans for improper conduct during Game 2 of the team’s playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Now we have more information regarding the allegations that led to the bans.
Ja Morant’s father Tee told ESPN that one fan made a sexually explicit remark to his wife. He says another fan told him “I’ll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy.” A third fan was ejected for yelling “shut the f— up, b—-,” to Morant’s mother. The article does not say what, if anything, Morant’s family said. However, Tee told ESPN that they had friendly banter with many of the other fans sitting around them. He also said that those examples went well beyond heckling.
The Jazz issued the following statement.
“The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior. An incident occurred last night involving a verbal altercation during Game 2. Arena security staff intervened, and the investigation resulted in the removal and banning of three Jazz fans indefinitely,” the team said.
“We apologize to all who were impacted by this unfortunate incident and condemn unacceptable fan behavior. The Utah Jazz are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment.”
Morant was pleased with the ban and said on Twitter “my family should be able cheer for me & my teammates without getting inappropriate s— said to them” (edited by LBS for profanity).
Both Ja and his father seemed to feel like things went well overall with the other fans, with the exception of the three who were banned.
These fans, who were banned indefinitely, join a few others who were banned in other venues. The 76ers banned a fan who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook. The Knicks also banned a fan who spit on Trae Young.
A Utah Jazz fan went viral on Saturday night for her wild hairstyle after being shown on TV by ESPN.
Late in the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the Jazz’s first-round playoff series with the Houston Rockets, ESPN showed the woman on TV. Her hair, which was puffed out nearly a foot high, was magnificent:
Folks on the internet were instantly captivated by her and her hair:
The public demands answers. We need to know more about this ‘do.
Monday night’s highly-publicized incident between Russell Westbrook and some Utah Jazz fans received widespread attention, but is far from his first run-in with fans there.
Westbrook had some encounters with Jazz fans throughout their playoff series last year, including one that is just now receiving attention.
Jazz digital media reporter Eric Woodyard shared a video on Tuesday night that he says came before Game 4 of last year’s first-round playoff series between the Thunder and Jazz. Westbrook was called “boy” by a fan. He seemed to tell the fan not to do it. Then after a fan repeated it, Westbrook appeared to call security over.
Westbrook was very sensible and reasonable in his approach that time. He seems to be willing to engage with fans and also frequently alerts security when he feels something bad is said. Perhaps he felt what was said on Monday was so out of line that he took the nuclear option, which was to threaten the fan.
Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA for his threat and profanity, while the fan was permanently banned by the Jazz.
The Utah Jazz have disciplined the fan who taunted Russell Westbrook on Monday night, leading to a profane response and threat from the Oklahoma City Thunder star.
The Jazz announced in a statement Tuesday that they have permanently banned fan Shane Keisel from all arena events following their investigation into the matter.
The Jazz said they would not tolerate inappropriate activity, personal attacks or disrespect from their fans.
Both Westbrook and Keisel shared their sides of what happened, though Keisel declined to say exactly what he told Westbrook, noting it was inappropriate for TV. Westbrook says Keisel told him to get down on his knees like he’s used to, which is what led him to threaten the fan in response.
The response from the Jazz seems appropriate given the situation. The NBA has also fined Russell Westbrook $25,000 for threatening and directing profanity at the fan.
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.
There are always two sides to a story, and now we’re hearing both sides of what happened between Russell Westbrook and a Utah Jazz fan that led to a video that went viral on Monday night.
A video of Westbrook threatening to f— up a Jazz fan and his wife circulated after the Thunder’s win at Utah on Monday night. The video did not have context and only showed Westbrook’s threat to the fan.
After the game, the Oklahoma City star provided a statement to explain what happened from his point of view. He says the Jazz fan told him to get down on his knees like he’s used to.
Westbrook said that he found the comment to be “disrespectful,” “inappropriate,” and “racial.”
Westbrook lamented the lack of protection for players from inappropriate fans.
“There’s gotta be something done, there’s gotta be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say whatever they want to say,” Westbrook said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the players. If I had to do it over again, I would say the exact same thing.”
Westbrook also said he never has nor never will put his hands on a woman. What led him to say he would f— up the wife too was her repeating what her husband had said.
Here’s fan Shane Keisel’s side of what happened. He said he did not curse, though he acknowledged that what he said would not be appropriate to share on TV. He seemed to provide context for his remark, saying he was jabbing Westbrook about having wraps on his knees late in the game, and he said the two were having an exchange.
Both parties were inappropriate and out of line. Heckling is part of sports, but Keisel crossed a line with his remark telling Westbrook to get on his knees. Westbrook also went too far in his response, because players should not be threatening fans and making them feel unsafe to attend events.
The Jazz have issued a statement saying they are investigating the exchange.
Russell Westbrook continues to have an extremely strained relationship with Utah Jazz fans and ventured into unprofessional territory on Monday night.
During the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 98-89 win over the Jazz, Westbrook got into it with some fans. He was captured on video by Jazz digital reporter Eric Woodyard threatening to f— up some fans.
The video contains profanity, so beware if you watch it.
Woodyard says the fans received warnings for their conduct but were not ejected from the game.
Jazz fans had been taunting Westbrook earlier in the game with “Westbrook sucks” chants.
Their issues are a continuation of what happened last season, when the Jazz beat the Thunder in a playoff series. Westbrook snapped at a Jazz fan during halftime of a playoff game. He also got aggressive with a fan after the game.
Westbrook is more sensitive to fan behavior than most and makes a point of trying to correct them when he feels they’re out of line. Saying things like he did on Monday is inappropriate though.
Russell Westbrook was not having a good night in Utah on Friday.
Westbrook went after a Utah Jazz fan at halftime and then again after his Oklahoma City Thunder lost Game 6 96-91 to end the series.
As he was exiting the court, a fan held a camera in front of him. Westbrook swatted at it and told the fan to get it out of his face.
Here was the other incident, which occurred as Westbrook was heading into the locker room at halftime:
Westbrook had a lot to be frustrated about. The season that began with so much optimism after the acquisitions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony ended with a first-round playoff loss. Westbrook went 18 of 43 for 46 points, while George was just 2-for-16. He was definitely on edge.
Russell Westbrook snapped on a Utah Jazz fan who appeared to be taunting him, causing the fan to back down quickly.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard was heading into the locker room. As he approached the tunnel, a Jazz fan leaned over and appeared to yell something that set Westbrook off. The fan likely was not expecting a reaction and backed away quickly after Westbrook turned towards him and said something in response.
Westbrook also said something to a nearby security worker, potentially suggesting that the fan should be ejected. The fan clearly did not see that coming.