The Utah Jazz have permanently banned another fan from their arena for an offensive and inappropriate interaction with Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, based on another video that has emerged, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.
The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly until the ban was officially announced.
During the incident, which happened during last year’s first-round playoff series between the Jazz and Thunder, a fan in the stands can be heard calling Westbrook “boy.”
The fan says, “Here we go, boy,” to which Westbrook responds, “Don’t call me boy.”
The fan says it again, and Westbrook calls for security to intervene.
The Deseret News in Salt Lake City first reported the ban.
On Tuesday, the Jazz permanently banned a fan over “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” directed toward Westbrook during Monday’s game at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Westbrook was captured on video delivering a profane tirade at the fan — later identified as Shane Keisel — and his wife, and afterward told reporters that Keisel had said, “Get down on your knees like you used to.”
The Jazz, their fanbase, and the community are trying to heal. Before Thursday’s game against Minnesota, team owner Gail Miller addressed fans, saying she was “extremely disappointed that one of our, quote, ‘fans’ conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena, but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA.
“This should never happen. We are not a racist community. We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. From time to time, individual fans exhibit poor behavior and forget their manners. Some disrespect players on other teams. When that happens, I want you to jump up and shout, ‘Stop.’ We have a code of conduct in this arena. It will be strictly enforced.”
Also on Thursday, Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey, so upset by the actions of certain fans, shared a personal and profound story with USA TODAY about the intersection of his life and Monday’s incident.
SOURCE: USA TODAY Sports – Jeff Zillgitt