SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was banned from Vivint Smart Home Arena is suing the Utah Jazz and Russell Westbrook, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
In a Jazz game at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder in March, Shane Kiesel reportedly shouted “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” at then-Thunder star Westbrook. Kiesel was later issued a lifetime ban from the arena by the Jazz and the Larry H. Miller Group.
In the lawsuit, Keisel’s attorneys argue that Keisel’s “heckling” was no different from other fans in the arena and that his words were misconstrued.
A video of Westbrook shouting profanities — which earned him a $25,000 fine from the NBA — at Keisel and his girlfriend Jennifer Huff was widely circulated on social media, but Westbrook later said he was provoked by Keisel telling him to “get down on your knees like you used to.”
In the lawsuit, attorneys for Keisel argue that Westbrook misheard or mischaracterized Keisel’s comments and that Keisel had told Westbrook to wrap his knees to be better able to play later on in the game.