The Utah Jazz announced a permanent ban for the person responsible for directing vulgar and inappropriate language at Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook during Monday night's game at Utah’s Vivint Smart Home Arena.
The ban is for all arena events, and “is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct,” the team said in a new release.
The incident led to Westbrook threatening the fan and his wife from the Thunder bench, shouting, "I promise you. You think I'm playing? I swear to God. I swear to God. I'll (expletive) you up. You and your wife. I'll (expletive) you up."
After the game, Westbrook said the man and his wife told him to "get down on (your) knees like you're used to."
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook gets into a heated verbal altercation with fans. (Photo: Rick Bowmer, AP)
In a statement released Tuesday, Jazz president Steve Starks said:
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment. Offensive and abusive behavior does not reflect the values of the Miller family, our organization and the community. We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings. This has always been a hallmark of our incredible fan base and should forever be our standard moving forward.”
The team said it conducted an investigation that included video review and eyewitness accounts.
Initially, Westbrook was captured on video delivering a profane tirade at the fan and his wife during the game. But then it was revealed the fan, identified as Shane Keisel, told Westbrook, ““Get down on your knees like you used to.”
That comment bothered Westbrook who told reporters after the game, “If I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing because I will truly stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same.”
After the Jazz announced the permanent ban for the fan, the NBA fined Westbrook $25,000 for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”
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