The Utah Jazz announced a lifetime ban of Shane Keisel, the Utah fan who made derogatory statements to Russell Westbrook during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 98-89 win over the Jazz at Vivint Arena on Monday night.
“The Utah Jazz will not tolerate fans who act inappropriately. There is no place in our game for personal attacks or disrespect,” the team said via a press release on Tuesday. “The ban is based on excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct.”
Team president Steve Starks said, “Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment. We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings.”
The incident occurred during the first half of the NBA game in Salt Lake City.
“I swear to God, I’ll f*ck you up. You and your wife. I’ll f*ck you up,” Westbrook told Keisel in a video tweeted by Jazz digital sports reporter Eric Woodyard.
Westbrook said Keisel told him to “get down on my knees like you used to” – a statement which he considered racist. Westbrook also complained about the lack of security for the players.
“As for beating up his wife, I’ve never put my hand on a woman. I never will,” Westbrook told reporters after the game. “Once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me. That’s kinda how that started.”
The NBA fined Westbrook $25,000 “for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”
Keisel told KSL5-TV that he said Westbrook should “Just sit down and ice your knees.” Keisel said he was not racist or disrespectful toward Westbrook.
But Twitter users uncovered old tweets that shows Keisel’s racist attitude toward the star guard.
According to Heavy.com, Keisel is a former Utah Highway Patrolman and a Toyota car salesman.