SALT LAKE CITY — A lawsuit against the Utah Jazz by a fan who was banned for life from the team’s arena over what were called racial taunts directed at point guard Russell Westbrook was dismissed by a judge, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Shane Keisel has said there was nothing racial about his heckling during the 2019 game and that the high-profile incident cost him his job and exposed him to online threats. The Jazz, however, said the team investigated the episode that ignited a national conversation about race and fan behavior and stood by the decision to bar him from the arena.
The ruling came just hours after Westbrook was once again a victim of unruly fan behavior, this time in Philadelphia where someone sitting over the tunnel that leads from the floor threw popcorn on him as he left the game with an ankle injury Wednesday night. The 76ers apologized Thursday and announced the unnamed fan who was a season-ticket holder would be banned from all events at the arena.
The NBA said rules surrounding fan behavior will be “vigorously enforced” going forward. In a separate incident Wednesday night, video showed that someone spit on Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks while he was preparing to inbound the basketball in the fourth quarter of New York’s win over Atlanta at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks apologized and banned that fan from the arena.