Utah Jazz fans banned from Vivint Arena for vulgar, racist comments directed at family of Ja Morant

Ja Morant
Posted at 7:22 PM, May 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 12:00:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Three Utah Jazz fans were removed from Wednesday night's playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies for heckling the family of Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

Tee Morant told ESPN one fan made a sexually explicit remark to his wife, Jamie. Another Jazz fan told him, "I'll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy."

"That's straight up disrespectful. That was too far out of line. You don't say nothing like that heckling. That's beyond heckling," Morant told ESPN.

ESPN reports the incidents all happened separately, each time security was alerted and the Jazz fan was escorted out of the game.

The Jazz released a statement about the incident on Thursday:

The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior. An incident occurred last night involving a verbal altercation during Game 2. Arena security staff intervened, and the investigation resulted in the removal and banning of three Jazz fans indefinitely. We apologize to all who were impacted by this unfortunate incident and condemn unacceptable fan behavior. The Utah Jazz are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment.

The Grizzlies guard took to Twitter to show his support in the banning of the fans. He wrote in part, "my family should be able cheer for me & my teammates without getting inappropriate s*** said to them."

Tee Morant told ESPN that despite the disruptive incidents, he was pleased with how the fans were handled by arena security and the Jazz organization. In the interview, Morant said he was "able to clear my mind and get back to talking to the great fans" seated around them.

Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith sounded off on Twitter saying that the incident was an embarrassment.

"Memphis Grizzlies and Morant family... we are embarrassed and sorry," Smith tweeted. "The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive behavior. We are committed to creating a respectful, competitive environment."

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell also remarked on twitter, saying he is glad the fans were banned and calling incidents like this 'ridiculous.'

"I’m glad those fans were banned and they should never be allowed back.... this is ridiculous!!!" Mitchell wrote. "The fact that these words are being thrown around to players and there families is ridiculous! Enough is enough smh!"