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March 26, 2019

Russell Westbrook: Jazz fans’ racial jab provoked my ‘I’ll f–k you up’ threat

March 12, 2019

Russell Westbrook and Jazz fans formed another foul combination Monday night, as footage of the fervent Thunder superstar berating Utah fans went viral during his team’s 98-89 win.

“I’ll f–k you up, you and your wife,” a heated Westbrook shouted while roaming the Utah sidelines in a short clip captured and published to Twitter by reporter Eric Woodyard.

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“How it started was, a young man and his wife in the stands told me ‘to get down on my knees like you used to,’” Westbrook said in a statement after the game. “To me, that’s just completely disrespectful, to me, I think it’s racial, and I think it’s inappropriate in the sense that there’s no protection for the players… I just think there’s gotta be something done, there’s gotta be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say.”

Shane Keisel, the fan responsible for setting off Westbrook, recalled the interaction with KSL5TV: “Just sit down and ice your knees,” he told the station of his prose.

Five Jazz fans received “warning cards” after the incident for being in violation of the NBA Fan Code of Conduct, but were permitted to stay the rest of the game, according to Woodyard. The Jazz released a statement saying it would continue investigating the “unfortunate exchange.”

Westbrook, who wasn’t penalized by the officials, has had run-ins with this particular fan base in the past. Last postseason, he appeared to swat a phone out of a fan’s hand after OKC fell in a decisive Game 6 to Utah.

“I don’t confront fans, fans confront me,” Westbrook said at the time. “Here in Utah, man, a lot of disrespectful, vulgar things are said to the players here with these fans. It’s truly disrespectful. (They) talk about your families, your kids. It’s just a disrespect to the game and I think it’s something that needs to be brought up.

“I’m tired of just going out and playing and letting fans say what the hell they want to say. I’m not with that. If I was on the street, they wouldn’t just come up to me and say anything crazy, because I don’t play that (expletive).”

This most-recent tirade comes less than a month after a young boy knocked Westbrook’s arm while sitting courtside at a Thunder-Nuggets game.

“For all fans, though, there’s too much leeway for the fans to be able to touch the players and get away with it, and then you can’t react and do the things that we need to do to protect ourselves,” Westbrook told The Oklahoman in late February. “But I can’t do nothing. What am I going to do, hop in the stands? But there has to be some type of rule or some type of boundaries set that you can’t allow that.”

Russell Westbrook. (Harry How / Getty Images)

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