Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was involved in an altercation with a fan at Monday night’s road game against the Utah Jazz. The fan, identified as Shane Keisel, is said to have hurled racially bigoted taunts at Westbrook, resulting in the 2017 Most Valuable Player shouting profanities at Keisel and his wife. Official press releases now confirm Westbrook has since been fined $25,000 and Keisel has been banned from the Jazz’s Vivint Smart Home Arena for life.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has been fined $25,000 for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations. The Utah Jazz previously announced that the individual involved in the incident with Westbrook has been permanently banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Statement from the Utah Jazz: pic.twitter.com/L3eYolvrpq
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) March 12, 2019
Following the incident, several NBA players have spoken up in defense of Russell Westbrook in unity against any form of bigotry in the NBA. Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, in particular, has stated he was “personally hurt” by the events that took place Monday night, vowing to “make our arenas and our communities more inclusive and welcoming.”
Donovan Mitchell’s statement on Russell Westbrook’s incident with Utah Jazz fans at Vivint Arena last night. pic.twitter.com/mJUhfSeQeU
— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) March 12, 2019
Fans can say shit about a mans family, wife, & kids.. Tell a player “Get down on your knees like your use to.” As men, what do you expect us to do? Shut up & dribble? No one is held accountable for their actions except for us. Fans are protected in every way possible but not us.
— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) March 12, 2019
Raymond Felton: “I’m going to speak on this, and I want everyone in here to really tune into this and understand…” pic.twitter.com/2rXjcQhAMV
— Maddie Lee (@maddie_m_lee) March 12, 2019
Jazz star Rudy Gobert also supports Russell Westbrook. "We have his back," Gobert told ESPN. "As much as I like to compete against Russ – and there’s always a little trash talk between me and him – as a human being, I feel for him and I understand his reaction." Story coming …
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 12, 2019
On Russell Westbrook and the fan in Utah, LeBron James supports Westbrook and the Jazz for banning the fan. He added there’s a bold line, not a fine line, between cheering for your team and being disrespectful. “Everyone knows when you’re crossing that line.” pic.twitter.com/XiCEZcaWdw
— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) March 13, 2019
Russell Westbrook featured for Team Giannis in last month’s NBA All-Star Game, with his 23.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists per game helping lead the Thunder to the fourth seed in the Western Conference.