The Utah Jazz have announced a lifetime ban of a fan who engaged in “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” of Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook during Monday night’s game in Salt Lake City.
“The ban is effective immediately and includes all arena events,” the team said in a statement issued on Tuesday, which added that it based its decision on “an investigation through video review and eyewitness accounts”.
Shortly after the Jazz announced the ban, the NBA said Westbrook would be fined $25,000 for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan”.
The eight-time NBA All-Star got into a heated verbal altercation with the fan and his wife during the second quarter of Monday’s game.
Early in the quarter, Westbrook stood up from the bench when he felt both fans directed a racial taunt at him. According to the Thunder guard, they told him to “get down on my knees like I used to.” After that, Westbrook was seen on video cursing at the man and threatening to “fuck up” him and his wife.
“I promise you. You think I’m playing. I swear to God, I swear to God, I’ll fuck you up,” Westbrook said. “You and your wife, I’ll fuck you up.”
Westbrook expressed concern following the game with the verbal abuse he and teammates have received from fans on the road. Much of it has been directed at their families, according to Westbrook. He said he will no longer tolerate disrespect.