Jazz owner Miller: 'We're not a racist community'

Jazz owner Gail Miller to The Athletic ‘Why should I let someone behave that way in my building

According to the The Deseret News' Eric Woodyard and The Salt Lake Tribune's Eric Walden and Andy Larsen, the fan being banned is one who used a derogatory term in talking to Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook during the 2018 playoffs. Westbrook said after the game that it was an emotional reaction to Keisel telling him, "Get on your knees like you're used to", a comment Westbrook considered "completely disrespectful" and "racial".

In addition, the National Basketball Association fined Westbrook $25,000, following the league's a familiar formula of addressing player misconduct while seemingly ignoring the root cause, which in this case was a player being taunted by a racist fan. In the locker room before Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets was the first time Westbrook had officially been available, but he declined to talk.

While the incident was initially painted as Westbrook acting out, the Jazz fan ultimately came out looking like a liar, and Donovan Mitchell spoke out against the fan.

A Jazz spokesman said late Monday night that "players and fans have a shared responsibility to create a safe and respectful environment".

It wasn't Westbrook's first time being involved in an altercation in Utah. "In the video, a young girl can be heard saying, "[white people] run n****** because they do football for us and rap music and we pay them for it".

Westbrook was fined $25,000 for his role and the fan is permanently banned from all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena. "It is a disrespect to the game and I think it is something that needs to be brought up".

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The video came to light as the Jazz were investigating the actions of a fan identified as Shane Keisel on Monday.

Once the incident occurred, many fans assumed that Westbrook was just guilty of being thin-skinned while receiving a heckling from a persistent fan.

The fan gave an interview with Complex Sports, in which he defended himself and said there was nothing racist about what he said.

Keisel said he was playfully bantering with Westbrook before Westbrook started cursing at him. "I have never been in any trouble, never fought a fan, and been in the league 11 years and a clean slate", Westbrook said after the game. I mean never said a word to him.

Keisel denied using a racist remark, saying he said, "sit down and ice your knees". "When that happens I want to jump up and shout, 'Stop!'"

While the Jazz handed out "warning cards" to several fans in relation to last night's incident, it didn't seem to deter them from their inappropriate behavior. The fan would be banned, and plans to sue Westbrook in retaliation. "It's truly disrespectful to the game, man".

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