The Utah Jazz fan who was confronted by Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook for making “racial” remarks during Monday night’s game was hit with a lifetime ban by Jazz officials.
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 press release.
During the incident, Westbrook heard the fan reportedly shout, “get down on your knees like you’re used to.” As a result, the Thunder point guard yelled, "I swear to God. I swear to God. I'll f*** you up. You and your wife. I'll f*** you up."
While the fan has been punished by the organization, Westbrook didn’t exactly get off scott-free.
For his part in the confrontation, Westbrook was hit with a $25,000 fine from the NBA on Tuesday “for directing profanity and threatening language toward a fan.”
Additionally, the fan, who was identified as former Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Shane Keisel, plans to file a lawsuit against Westbrook, according to KSL-TV.
After Westbrook faced backlash for his reaction, Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell issued a statement Monday supporting the rival player.
“I am personally hurt by the incident at the game on March 11th,” Mitchell said in the statement, according to Deseret News. “As a Black man living in a community I love, and playing on a team that gives me the opportunity to live out my dreams, this incident hits close to home. Racism and hate speech hurts us all, and this is not the first time something like that has happened in our arena. The Utah that I have come to love is welcoming and inclusive and last night’s incident is not indicative of our fan base.
“I want to thank my team and the NBA for quickly responding to this hateful incident, and for helping to make our arena a place where all fans and players are welcome. I join other players in calling for teams to take a stand. We should not be subject to hate speech or racist acts at any time, and definitely not in our arenas,” Mitchell added.
In a conversation with ESPN, Keisel denied making the remarks and said he nor his wife used foul language.
Westbrook then took time to clarify the language used towards Keisel’s wife.
“As for beating up his wife, I’ve never put my hand on a woman, I never will,” Westbrook said, as reported by Yahoo Sports.
(Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
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