Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Gail Miller Addresses Jazz Fans, Says 'We Are Not A Racist Community'

Gail Miller Gail Miller
Cassandra Castillo | 15 March, 2019, 14:41

The latest altercation between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and Shane Keisel, a fan of the Utah Jazz, has shown that National Basketball Association and the NBPA must come together and figure out how to really address fan confrontations.

Nothing to that extreme has happened since, though incidents between players and fans are hardly uncommon. According to Keisel, after Westbrook replied that it was heat on his knees, Keisel hollered, "You're going to need it". Westbrook said the incident began when the fan told him "to get down on your knees like you're used to", although the fan disputes this. "I promise you", Westbrook said to a security guard behind the bench at the beginning of the video posted to Twitter. Receipts were found where Keisel ran his mouth in the past about Westbrook and others. "You think I'm playing".

"I swear to god, I'll f-- you up". I'll f- you up; you and your wife. He said fans are not "held accountable for their actions". "'That's what you're used to doing.' He turns around, his wife reiterates it, he says it back to him again". After the game the Jazz put out a statement stating they had banned Keisel.

"The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately", the Jazz said in a statement.

My good friend and colleague at NBC Sports Chicago, Will Perdue, had a chance to watch Morant up close and personal while serving as an expert analyst for the national radio broadcast of the OVC tourney championship game. The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct.

When asked if Irving heard anything racial from fans, he said he's "heard it all" but it's different in Utah due to how the arena is set up.

"That's just one video, but throughout the whole game, throughout since I've been here, especially here in Utah, every time I come here there's a lot of disrespectful things that's said. I'm just glad he's OK". "That's the same thing I value, it's just the respect thing of the game and people's professions".

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"To me, that's just completely disrespectful". For many years I have done all the right things and never done anything to hurt or harm anybody.

"He just went nuts", Keisel told ESPN. Never said a word to him.

"Initially I was like "oh, I'm talking with Westbrook, he's one of the greats", but he's classless". Don't threaten a woman. "So this guy needs to be exposed".

What Westbrook said is true: there isn't protection for players from court side loud mouths.

The big picture takeaway of this is that Utah has, their fans have the worst reputations in the league for doing this stuff. Previous year in the playoffs he slapped the cellphone out of a fan's hand at the end of the game.

Westbrook was not penalized by the game officials in the Thunder's 98-89 victory in front of a crowd of 18,300 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. It's truly disrespectful. Talk about your families, your kids.

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