SALT LAKE CITY — Thursday night’s game between the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves tipped off later than scheduled, but the delay was for a very good reason.

Three nights after an ugly verbal altercation between Thunder star Russell Westbrook and a Utah fan made national headlines, Jazz owner Gail Miller stood at center court to deliver a heartfelt message about civility and respect.

“I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote fans conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA,” Miller said, pausing as a sold-out Vivint Arena erupted in applause.

“This shouldn’t happen,” Miller added. “We are not a racist community.”

Jazz owner Gail Miller just delivered a heartfelt message before tipoff. pic.twitter.com/t7qOOydRpn

— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 15, 2019

pic.twitter.com/iVCjMLuj4d

— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) March 15, 2019

As he did last year during the playoffs when he blasted Utah for having “vulgar, disrespectful” fans, Westbrook gave a different opinion on Monday after his shouting match with Utahn Shane Keisel.

Westbrook accused Keisel of using racist language during Oklahoma City’s win at Utah, and the Thunder guard was videoed cursing and threatening Keisel and his wife in response. Keisel disputes Westbrook’s account.

That story went viral — along with revived accusations of Utah fans being racist and rude to visiting players. The Jazz responded to an ensuing investigation by banning Keisel from attending all events at Vivint Arena.

“We believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings. From time to time, individual fans exhibit poor behavior and forget their manners. Some disrespect players on other teams. When that happens, I want to jump up and shout, ‘Stop!”

Utah Jazz …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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