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Utah Jazz fan banned from arena after incident with Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook shouts at a fan in the crowd in Utah. | AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The Utah Jazz permanently banned a fan from attending future events at Vivint Smart Home Arena as a result of his involvement in an incident with All-Star guard Russell Westbrook on Monday night. The team says the ban for Shane Keisel is effectively immediately and includes all events at the arena, not just Jazz games.

The Jazz say they conducted an investigation through video and eyewitness accounts, then concluded that Keisel would be permanently banned based on evidence of “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player during the game that violated the NBA Code of Conduct.”

The NBA also announced a $25,000 fine for Westbrook.

Westbrook got recorded on video during Monday’s game shouting “I’ll f–k you up,” at a fan who was later identified as Keisel. He said after the game that he had responded to “disrespectful” and “racial” taunts.

Keisel had a much different version of the story, claiming he had done nothing wrong while criticizing Westbrook for threatening his wife.

After the game, one of Westbrook’s teammates, Patrick Patterson defended his actions.

Other NBA players, including Dwyane Wade, Raymond Felton and Justise Winslow, also stood by Westbrook for his actions, pointing out how athletes often have to tolerate verbal abuse from fans without being able to do anything about it. Utah star Donovan Mitchell, who was on the court Monday night, released a lengthy statement emphasizing the importance of combating racism and hate speech.