Thunder's Russell Westbrook says racial taunt started spat with fans

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook gets into a verbal altercation with a Utah Jazz fan. CREDIT AP

The Utah Jazz have disciplined the fan who taunted Russell Westbrook on Monday night, leading to a profane response and threat from the Oklahoma City Thunder star.

The Jazz announced on social media this afternoon that the fan has been permanently banned. It comes after the Jazz conducted an investigation into the incident using video review and eyewitnesses accounts and concluded that "excessive and derogatory verbal abuse" was directed at Westbrook, which violates the NBA Code of Conduct.

Each individual has a different story about what actually happened, and Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the National Basketball Association for making threatening comments to the fan and his wife.

Westbrook told reporters after the game the fan told him to "get down on my knees like you used to".

Westbrook, 30, addressed the exchange at length during his postgame comments, telling reporters that he reacted to "completely disrespectful" comments that he believed were "racial" in nature.

It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg when old footage surfaced online showing another fan in Utah referring to Westbrook as "boy" during game 4 of the first-round series in 2018. And I think we can all agree that it's despicable.

As you can see, Westbrook was having a good time until he heard the word "boy" thrown his way.

"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 disrespectful things said".

Westbrook took over after the Jazz rallied in the fourth quarter.

"Russ is just f-bombing, and carrying on, acting a fool and everybody is getting on him", Keisel told KSL-TV. [My companion] never left her seat and never said a word. Claiming that the fan set made "racial" and "inappropriate" statements.

Westbrook then responded with the expletives, Keisel said.

After the Jazz eliminated the Thunder in last year's playoffs, Westbrook was involved in an incident with a fan who got a little too close for comfort.

"We self-induced some of their runs", Thunder coach Billy Donovan said.

"It's really important that we hold those people accountable, because at the end of the day, those kids are the future of this country and the future of the world".

Utah now sit in sixth spot in the Western Conference with 17 games remaining on their schedule, with the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers right behind them in the standings.

Russell Westbrook says the comment from the Jazz fan that set him off was: "Get down on your knees like you're used to".

At the least, Keisel's tweets show past behavior that is consistent with the version of events presented by Westbrook and his teammates. "I love our fans but there are limits that cannot be crossed!"

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