Russell Westbrook was captured on camera threatening a Utah Jazz fan and his wife during last night’s game. The two involved parties have different opinions on what led up to the heated incident.
Westbrook said the heckler told him to “get down on your knees like you’re used to,” a comment he found racial and inappropriate.
“For me, I’m just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family,” Westbrook said. “I just think there’s got to be something done. There’s got to be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I don’t think it’s fair to the players — not just to me, but I don’t think it’s fair to the players.
“And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same. So that’s kind of where I’m at with the whole situation. As for beating up his wife, I have never put my hand on a woman; I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before. Never have before, but once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me as well. So that’s kind of how that started. I know you guys only got the tail end of the video, but the start of the video is way more important and way more disrespectful than what you guys heard.”
Shane Keisel, the 45-year-old fan, claims he told Westbrook to ice up his knees, which is far less incendiary.
Keisel, who wishes Westbrook would have been more professional, has long believed the player to be classless. So classless that a classy guy should go out and kick his ass.
Look, obviously Westbrook is in the wrong here for lobbing verbal threats both at the man and woman. He should expect to be sternly disciplined for his behavior because the league simply can’t have that.
At the same time, his is an understandable — though nonconstructive — response to the alleged heckling, which is at bare minimum, homophobic. And if we take the fan at his word, that there was nothing out of line coming from his mouth, it’s still monumentally lame that a middle-aged man needs to find happiness by yelling at world-class athletes.
Maybe get some perspective in your life before your loud mouth is the catalyst for a needless national spectacle. Again, not absolving Westbrook for his part, but maybe the bare minimum of maturity helps stop the next incident before it begins.