Westbrook and Jazz Fans

bloodshy
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Westbrook and Jazz Fans

Last night the Thunder beat the Jazz in SLC. Westrook played really well overall and was the player of the game.

The story of the game, however, is Westbrook's interaction with some Jazz fans. There are two different versions of the initial exchange, followed by Westbrook's recorded response.

Westbrook Version: Fans (in particular a guy named Keisel and his wife) were yelling at Westbrook using profanity and saying bad things about Westbrook, his family, children, etc. One phrase that Westbrook found particularly offensive, claiming it was "racist" and "inappropriate," is that the fan told him to "get down on your knees." Westbrook says he then appropriately responded to the fan with some threatening language.

Fan Version: Fans were heckling Westbrook. Profanity was not used. Fan says he stated, "ice those knees up," to which Westbrook responded, "it's heat," to which the fan responded, "you're going to need it!" The fan says Westbrook then totally lost it and started threatening the fan and his wife, whom the fan claims never said a word during the interaction.

The video only captures part of Westbrook's response:

"I'll f--- him up if he says that s--- again. I promise you. I promise you. You think I'm playing. I swear to God, I swear to God, I'll f--- you up. You and your wife, I'll f--- you up. I promise you, on everything I love. On everthing I love, n----, I promise you."

Relevant History: During last year's playoffs against the Jazz Westbrook confronted fans twice, both in the tunnel after losing. The first time, a fan was hanging over the tunnel heckling Westbrook when Westbrook turned around and moved toward the fan in the threatening way. The fan then stepped back out of reach and the distance between them was too much to create any real risk of a physical altercation. The second time Westbrook reached up and slapped the cell phone in the hand of a heckling fan that was recording Westbrook while exiting the floor.

In each of these three cases Westbrook claimed that insults to his family, children, etc. triggered his reaction. Westbrook also suggested race-based insults. In two cases cell phone footage was produced and in both of those cases they captured Westbrook doing what the fan claimed he did. However, in neither case was there evidence of a fan doing anything beyond normal PG-rated heckling.

As far as I'm aware, the league has taken no action on this issue. Westbrook has never been punished in any way for any of these events and I'm unaware of any real investigaton by the league into the justifications of fan interaction that was given.

What is the consensus? Should the NBA do something about this, or should they leave it alone? If yes, what should the NBA do?


llperez
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the nba should defenitely

the nba should defenitely look into it. Theres plenty of witnesses in the area, surely some people who are not biased will give an accurate version of events then well know whos full of it.

In general though, i think fans go too far too often. Just enjoy the game.

SeattleSuperChronics
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Spoiled fan vs spoiled

Spoiled fan vs spoiled player.

I am tired of all this racist sh!t. We have free speech in this country and if you give words that much power over you, you are a mental midget.

HobbyOG
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Coming from the white guy

Coming from the white guy whose never dealt with racism...stick to what you know..posting dumb shyt about how great Gelo Ball is..

SeattleSuperChronics
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HahahahEnjoy your victims

Hahahah I’m white so I can’t have an opinion. Looks like I just experienced racism. Get over the victims mentality.

HobbyOG
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I will get over the victims

I will get over the victims mentallity when you get of the Ball Family D**K..

SeattleSuperChronics
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how dare you

how dare you

Arc12345
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Well

They just fined Russ $25,000 for his words and banned the fan for life.

Pretty sure the fan was saying racially charged things without a doubt. Not sure why you were even slightly on the fan's side/giving them more of the benefit of the doubt than Russ. Especially when Patrick Patterson backed up everything Russ said. Also they found old racist tweets that the fan had tweeted (which of course are now deleted). It's no secret Utah has one of the most racist crowds in the NBA and it's unsurprising given the demographics.

I know Russ can be an emotional player, and I remember those incidents you mentioned, but this incident was quite different.

Props to the NBA for handling it exactly as they should. Russ saying he would "F up you and your wife" wasn't the best decision, but I understand his emotions got the best of him. I'm no Westbrook fan, but if you've ever been the victim of racist taunts, you know how infuriating it can be.

SubZero
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This is such a ridiculous

This is such a ridiculous post. Good Lord

Scrooge McDuck
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Did anyone see Russ’s

Did anyone see Russ’s explanation after the game? He’s just a person, from what I’ve seen on the internet and a few games I’ve been to, the fans border on criminal harassment of the players at the games. I think it’s cool to interact with the players, but the stupid sh*t I hear them say, they should just shut up. I’m 100% with Russ here. Those jazz fans are nuts.

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People like that fan are

People like that fan are clowns. Whether or not he made the rascist remarks to come to the game to disrespect the main attraction you are paying to see is ridiculous and Westbrook is right more should be done to prevent people acting this way. The guy thought he was having fun insulting someone...

With all that said Westbrook is too emotional and needs to be sharper mentally. In todays super sensitive age of social media nothing will be tolerated. He needs to be able to tune out the rascist comments like the other 50 coaches, players and staff sitting courside listening do. Its unfortunate but its his job.

SeattleSuperChronics
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ihoop

ihoop

no skills
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some fans like to get

some fans like to get reactions from players so they can get it on video and get attention and then sue the player/team/building etc. this guy is clearly one of those. he is now suing westbrook and the jazz over this. he is trying to play the victim saying he fears for his life because of what people are saying about him. its got to be hard for players because often its the short video fans take that goes viral, that can hurt a players brand etc.

the jazz at least were quick to ban the fan from the building for life including every event held there so that can be everything from concerts to future olympic games. there is not a lot of big event type places in utah so that might hurt. this fan played himself. and now people are going over every detail they can find of his life. people are after his job too.

westbrook can cross lines at times for sure but i think many of us would in those situations.

every team has bad fans. teams need to be better at weeding those people out. teams can afford to be picky who they let in games. and a ban from one team should go for every team.

Hitster
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How can the fan sue the Jazz,

How can the fan sue the Jazz, he has chosen to go to their game and has apparently said racist things to Westbrook. What if Westbrook threatened to counter sue he could effectively ruin this guy then.

The majority of NBA players are black and whilst hecking or booing an opponent is part of the game when it gets about the colour of someone's skin then it is no go.

Sewok15
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I yell stuff at Lebron from

I yell stuff at Lebron from the nosebleeds when he obviously can't here me. If he was actually close enough to hear me I imagine I would bite my tongue.

IndianaBasketball
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The man in this situation was

The man in this situation was proven to be full of sh*t. Of course people found his twitter (He's since deleted his twitter) and found several tweets he's made in the past directed at Westbrook. One of them said, "Westbrook needed to go back to where he came from."

It's crazy because I recently went to a Pacers game vs the T-Wolves. I was sitting lower level about 8-10 rows up from the floor. KAT was killing the Pacers. I mean, just destroying them. KAT got fouled on one play and was about to shoot his free-throws. It was sort of quiet in the building . . . All the sudden I hear, "KAT!!! Your mother is a hoe!!!" It was loud enough for damn near the entire lower level to hear it. I know KAT heard it. I was disgusted. It came from a fan sitting not too far away.

What's sad is that's not even the worst thing. As I was looking at the faces of other fans in that area, who heard him, to see if they were pissed off like I was . . . I noticed something that was disturbing smh. Let's just say that we all need to do a better job of standing up to bs like this regardless of what color, race, etc you are. Whether that's in an arena, at school, at work, at home, etc.

I did report the idiot btw. An usher talked to him at half-time and told him to knock it off. I guess that was his warning.

bloodshy
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This is an excellent comment.

Obviously, we have a lot of additional information than when I made my post. Like others have stated, I enjoy watching interactions between players and fans, though I’m not the type to engage much personally. The back and forth between Spike Lee and Reggie Miller is legendary and that type of player-fan interaction is one small detail that makes the nba special. That said, incidents like the one you observed have no place in the game and venues should not tolerate that nonsense. Similarly, it seems clear now that the fan in this instance was totally out of line. Hopefully correcting the “bad fan” problem won’t impact the positive interactions and razzing.

Bmore_DC
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Yea they dug up this dudes

Yea they dug up this dudes social media and its full of a lot of racist things. One saying “Westbrook needs to go back to where he came from” and one where he calls someone a “n*gger boy”.

He was also at one point a sheriff or maybe just a cop and is now an auto mechanic. Interesting to see someone leave being a policeman on their own. This dudes a straight up racist and this isnt the first time Utah fans have gone over the top.

its well known that it’s probably the most racist arena in the NBA. My dad used to tell me all the time how racist the fans were and thats why nobody wanted to play there. I feel bad for the good Jazz fans.

NBA and the Jazz handled this situation perfectly.

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