Thunder guard Raymond Felton says fans are picking on Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Raymond Felton stood up for his teammate Russell Westbrook after the latter was involved in a heated argument with a Utah Jazz fan during a 98-89 win on Monday night.
Felton felt like Westbrook had been a target of fans’ insults and all-around belligerence, and claimed the NBA must start to protect its players if they hope to avoid future incidents.
“This ain’t the first game it happened. It happened in Portland. It happens in pretty much every game, they picking on Russ,” said Felton. “It’s not right. It’s not fair to tell a man to get on his knees. ‘That’s what you’re used to doing.’ He turns around, his wife reiterates it, he says it back to him again.”
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
Felton stressed the emphasis should be put on the instigator, not on Westbrook’s response to the fan, as he spoke to the aforementioned’s humanity right before making his statement.
“Then everybody wants to make a big deal out of what (Westbrook) said. Let’s talk about what he said to him first,” Felton said. “He’s not coming off and just talking to the fans, saying stuff to them. He’s not. They’re coming at him first.”
Westbrook’s response was surely not unwarranted, and it seems relatively odd for a player of his caliber to bring up someone’s wife for the sake of doing so. As Felton noted, the wife reiterated the words the husband had said as a means of marital support, making this a two-on-one verbal war Westbrook was forced to handle on his own.
This isn’t the first time Westbrook or other NBA players have dealt with hostile acts from fans, and it surely won’t be the last unless the league starts to take action and protect the integrity of their sporting event more than their pockets.