The NBA once again met fans, players’ conflicts with other events in Philadelphia and New York.
As the story of one jazz fan having difficulty chasing an opposing player draws closer, another opens up.
Two jazz fan events drew nationwide attention on Thursday, one of the March 2019 events and the other in the first-round play-off of Game 2 on Wednesday between the Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies.
In a recent incident, Grizzlies’ family defender Ja Morant was confused as they watched their son score 47 points in an eventual jazz triumph. Vivint Arena officials intervened and removed the three fans responsible for the exchange.
Morant’s father told ESPN what he heard from fans at the game: A fan made a speech at “Sexually explicit” with his wife Jamie. Another said, according to Morant, “I’m going to put a nickel on your back and watch you dance, boy.” The speech prompted a nearby jazz fan to a security alert, according to ESPN. Jamie Morant
“I know what the fuck,” Ja’s father Tee Morant told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “But that’s different from hacking. Honestly, not polite “
Jazz released a statement on the matter Thursday evening:
“Utah Jazz has no tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior. The incident took place last night in connection with a verbal altercation during Game 2, Arena security personnel intervened and an investigation resulted in the removal and banning of three jazz fans indefinitely, ”the statement said. It reads, “We apologize to everyone affected by this unexpected incident and condemn the unacceptable fan behavior. Utah Jazz is committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment. ”
Morant tweeted about the incident Thursday, “My family should be able to (cheer) me and my teammates without being abusive —- speak to them,” Morant said.
Good interaction, too: nearby jazz fans reportedly bought beer with the Morant family. Morant complimented those fans and told ESPN, “We joke with the crowd around us every game.” Tee Morant said, “We had a great time.”
Tee Morant also said, “He was pleased with the response to the incident by the stage security and jazz organization.”
Jazz Guard Donovan Mitchell also commented on the situation, tweeting, “I’m glad those fans have been banned and they shouldn’t be allowed to come back …. This is ridiculous !!! The fact that these words were thrown to the players and their families is ridiculous! Enough is enough!
But overall, the event was merely enhancing the reputation of jazz fans as being hostile to their opponents. Sometimes it transcends acceptable practice.
That’s a reputation that was reinforced after an incident in March 2019 when jazz fan Shane Kisel exchanged thorns with defender of the Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook Keisel thwarted Westbrook. C, saying Westbrook insists the Oklahoma City star defender should “Kneel down like you used to” Westbrook was offended by Keisel’s comments, threatening Keisel and his girlfriend Jennifer Huff.
After the incident spread widely on social media, Westbrook ruled Kisel to be racist and jazz banned Kisel from the stage. Westbrook was fined $ 25,000.
Keisel and Huff then sued Jazz and Westbrook for $ 100 million in damages from defamation and emotional distress.Keisel cited the loss of his job and friendship as evidence to support his claim.
On Thursday, Utah Fourth District Judge Derek Pullan dismissed Keisel and Huff’s lawsuit; The judges did not buy Keisel, Huff and their lawyers’ arguments.In the end, Pullan ruled that Jazz’s remarks could be defamatory. But it was ultimately protected by the Jazz’s right to comment publicly.
Pullan also ruled that Westbrook’s post-game statement, which he called Keisel’s inherent racist abuse, did not explicitly reference the two titles and was also protected by Westbrook’s First Amendment rights.
Jazz fans are not alone in making headlines for events that take place between fans and players.In fact, there are still two other incidents, one in each Wednesday night’s playoff game. One Philadelphia fan dropped popcorn on Westbrook as he walked off the floor due to an ankle injury. Fans were indefinitely suspended from attending team events. Another fan in New York was seen spitting on the hawk guard Treyang; He was also banned indefinitely from the Knicks game.