Last night, a Utah Jazz fan and Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook got into a heated exchange that the OKC player characterized as “racial.” Today, news hit that the fan planned to sue Westbrook while the Jazz banned the fan for life.
News 9 reported that the fan named Shane Keisel got himself a lifetime ban from all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Earlier Keisel announced plans to sue OKC’s number 0 because of the situation, and for that reason, Keisel took down all his social media accounts. Quick searching people on the Internet managed to find several questionable and possibly racist tweets from Keisel before he scrubbed his social media.
A roughly 30-second video of the latter part of the incident posted to Twitter by Jazz Digital Sports reporter Eric Woodyard quickly went viral racking up over 2 million views.
The fan characterized the statement that began their verbal exchange as him saying, “sit down and ice your knees, bro.” However, the OKC superstar told reporters after the game Keisel and his wife said, “Get on your knees like you used to.”
In response, Westbrook went on a rant during which he said, among other things, “I promise you, I promise. I’ll f*** you up, you and your wife.”
So this was what the fan who @russwest44 got into it with tweeted last year ? Not saying I am excusing his reaction but I see the type of fan he was dealing with. Utah Jazz fans have always been some of the worst to be honest#nba #russellwestbrook #westbrook #utahjazz @utahjazz pic.twitter.com/9UxzCaagTF— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) March 12, 2019
After the game, Westbrook spoke with reporters, and he told them that he has never and will never hit a woman, but that he will not tolerate that type of disrespect from fans, according to a report from The New York Times.
“If I had to do it over again, I would say the same exact thing.”
Westbrook went on, “There’s no protection for the players. I think there are a lot of great fans who like to come to the game and enjoy the game. And then there are people that come to the game to say disrespectful things about me, my family.”
The Best Shit Ever Period! (Excuse my language lol) pic.twitter.com/Gfs2XsH3Rm— Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) March 10, 2019
The Thunder guard’s teammates also backed up his version of what happened on the floor. Both Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson confirmed his account, and apparently, after investigation, the Utah Jazz also got confirmation, which leads to Keisel’s ban.
Recently, Westbrook made headlines after a young fan in Denver grabbed him immediately after play stopped during a game. That time, the NBA star kept his cool, but he did speak with the child’s father about the situation.
Last year, Westbrook also had issues with the Utah Jazz fans during a playoff game when he both yelled at a fan and later swiped at a fans’ phone.