The Jazz have permanently banned a fan who heckled Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, the team announced in a statement on Tuesday.
The ban is effective immediately and includes all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena. It comes after the Jazz conducted an investigation into the incident using video review and eyewitnesses accounts and concluded that "excessive and derogatory verbal abuse" was directed at Westbrook, which violates the NBA Code of Conduct.
"Everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy and play the game in a safe, positive and inclusive environment," Jazz President Steve Starks said in the statement. "Offensive and abusive behavior does not reflect the values of the Miller family, our organization and the community. We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings. This has always been a hallmark of our incredible fan base and should forever be our standard moving forward."
Westbrook got into a verbal altercation with a fan during Monday night's game in Utah. The point guard used profanity in the incident, telling the fan, "I'll f--- you up. You and your wife."
According to the Deseret News' Eric Woodyard, five Jazz fans received "warning cards" that their comments, gestures and/or behaviors directed at players were in violation of the league's Fan Code of Conduct. They were able to return to their seats after the altercation as Oklahoma City exited with a 98-89 victory.
Westbrook addressed the altercation postgame.
"How it started was, a young man and his wife in the stands told me 'to get down on my knees like you used to,'" Westbrook told reporters. "To me, that’s just completely disrespectful, to me, I think it’s racial, and I think it’s inappropriate and insensitive."
The NBA fined Westbrook $25,000 on Tuesday for "directing profanity and threatening language to a fan."