Jazz star Donovan Mitchell goes to bat for his organization after Russell Westbrook fan incident
The Utah Jazz organization got behind their players for the recent racial issue stemming from the incident between Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook and a local Utah fan named Shane Keisel. Before the Jazz-Nets game on Saturday night, players, staff, and coaches from both squads all wore shirts carrying an anti-racism message to show that they were in solidarity with this issue.
Jazz sophomore star Donovan Mitchell applauded the way the Jazz organization has handled the entire situation, and added that he feels blessed to be part of the team:
“I’m blessed to be able to play for an owner like (Gail Miller), to go out there and say what she said and stick by it,” Mitchell said per ESPN. “It’s one thing to say it, but the actions they’ve put toward it is showing that they’re serious about this. We’re all serious about this as well. It’s a blessing to play for an organization that believes so much in what their players say and what they believe.”
To recall, a video of Westbrook shouting profanities to a fan in the Thunder-Jazz game last week went viral on social media. According to Westbrook, degrading racial comments from Keisel triggered the tirade.
Westbrook received a ton of support from fans and players, including Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. After investigating on the matter, the Jazz organization has since given Keisel a lifetime ban from Jazz games and any other events held at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Owner Gail Miller also publicly addressed the Utah crowd this past Thursday. She condemned the actions of those so-called fans and added that they will not tolerate racism in Utah.