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Report: Jazz permanently ban fan who called Russell Westbrook ‘boy’ last year

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz - Game Three

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder passes over Ricky Rubio #3 of the Utah Jazz in the first half during Game Three of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 21, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

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The Jazz banned from their arena the fan who got into a verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook earlier this week.

What about the fan who repeatedly called Westbrook “boy” during last year’s playoffs?

Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News:

Woodyard:

On Friday morning, a source informed the Deseret News that the Jazz have also permanently banned a second fan for degrading and offensive conduct against Westbrook that took place during the 2018 postseason.

This is the right move by the Jazz. That racist talk is completely unacceptable.

But what took so long?

Westbrook got security to handle the heckler at the time, according to Woodyard. The Jazz could have investigated and acted then. The video didn’t become public until this week, but there were still plenty of witnesses – including Westbrook – to the racist taunt.

This is happening only because Westbrook made such a big deal this week about the verbal abuse he has received. If he reacted passively to the latest heckler, it probably would have gotten swept under the rug. This year-old incident is so telling. The Jazz didn’t act – for nearly a year! – until Westbrook turned up the heat on them.

Westbrook got fined $25,000 for yelling profanity at the fan earlier this week. He shouldn’t have said what he did, even though his anger was completely understandable. But Westbrook’s harsh videoed and published response to the fan shined a light on much bigger problems in Utah.

Hopefully, the Jazz act far more swiftly in the future.