What in the hell is happening in Utah.
In the past week the fans of the basketball team, that go to games, for them banned for life for racial epitaphs spewed in Russell Westbrook's direction. This is highly disturbing to me, and a whole lot of other people. I mean, I am a rabid fan of all things University of Michigan, but I have never wished harm or said unthinkable things to their rivals. I have never been driven to racism because of an outcome of a game. I have never acted so egregiously that I have had to remove myself, or been removed from a stadium, or even watching in the comfort of my own home. So, why do these 2 assholes in the recent news think it was okay to do what they did.
The first incident I heard about was all stemmed around Westbrook being filmed saying that he would mess up the dude and his wife. I was taken aback, but then I heard the whole story. All I knew at first was what Westbrook said, and the interview with this racist ass where he played the victim. Only after reading the full story did I know that this moron was hurling racial epitaphs and that he told Westbrook to "get on your knees like you're used to". That is appalling. That is unsettling. It is frightening to hear that some people think it is okay to say something like that. It is simply wrong. No one deserves to be talked to in that manner, especially in the 21st century. After reading this, then hearing it for myself, I was fully on Westbrook's side. I have zero problem with what he said to this man and his wife, or whoever that lady was with him. In fact, I wish he took it further. Had this turned into a "Malice at the Palace" type situation, I would have fully understood. Just because Westbrook is a pro, who's team happened to be handing it to the Jazz that night, that doesn't give you the right to say whatever pops into your tiny little head. To sit that close to the players is a privilege, and this jerk totally deserves his lifetime ban for what he said.
The NBA really needs to look into player safety a bit more. I say that because after this story came out, more reports came out of fans doing similar things, or putting their hands on players. That is not cool at all. That is dangerous. Players have come out in big time support of Westbrook since the incident, as expected. And they have all said pretty much the same thing I am saying today. They stand with Westbrook. They want more protection. They want the fans that sit courtside, right next to the opposition's bench, to follow some kind of rules or conduct code. Even Donovan Mitchell, a Jazz player, has come out and said how wrong this whole thing is, and how it doesn't, or at the very least, shouldn't, portray the entire fan base.
Well, I just saw today that another Jazz fan got a lifetime ban, calling Russell Westbrook "boy", in last year's playoffs. Two things, why do they hate Westbrook so much, and maybe this is what the majority of Utah's fan base is. Maybe they are a bunch of racist assholes. Maybe they don't care at all about a human being's feelings, and they think they are entitled to say whatever they want because they have fancy seats. The fact that is has happened twice in the past calendar year is not a one time thing, it is a trend, and a trend that might have been started in the early 90's. And to aim it at Westbrook, I just don't get it. Sure, he can be a divisive player, but the dude plays with so much heart and grit and gives it all he can every night, I respect the hell out of him. While you may not like him, you should at least respect him. You shouldn't be yelling racist nonsense at him.
I was so high on the Jazz before the season started. But, after hearing all this stuff recently about their fans has made me happy that they aren't as good as I thought they might be. And I know that the players have nothing to do with the fans. I do not wish them ill will. I'm just happy that their punk ass fans are going to see their beloved team get beat in the first round of the playoffs. The asshole fans deserve this. They stink, and I hope more of these racist idiots get lifelong bans. This is disgusting and disturbing. I totally side with Westbrook on this. He is right, the Jazz fans are very, very wrong.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing, the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast, and the greatest basketball writer on the internet.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.