A group of Jazz fans are looking to raise $25,000 for the Human Rights Campaign after Russell Westbrook was heckled with "excessive and derogatory verbal abuse" during Monday's contest in Utah.
Westbrook was heard using profanity in a verbal altercation with a heckler, responding to fans by saying, "I'll f--- you up. You and your wife." Westbrook said the incident started when a young man and his wife in the stands told [him] "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 fan was permanently banned by the Jazz from all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
According to the GoFundMe page, the campaign seeks to raise the same amount Westbrook was fined by the NBA for directing obscenities toward the fans in response and will be donated in hopes of allowing "true, loyal, welcoming and kind Utah Jazz fans to show our true colors."
“It is time to change the narrative on citizens of Utah, fans of the Jazz and those that call Utah 'home,’” Devin Deaton, a Jazz fan from Sandy, explained in the GoFundMe's description. “We are not a bunch of redneck, racist, bigots. Most of us are dads, moms, friends, hard-workers, kind-hearted, do right by each other, help our fellow man, good neighbors and welcoming to all.”
The page has raised $5,581 as of Wednesday evening.