Utah Jazz Owner: ‘We Are Not a Racist Community’

by March 15, 2019

Utah Jazz team owner Gail Miller addressed the Russell Westbrook incident with the hometown fans prior to Thursday night’s matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“We are not a racist community,” Miller said, adding that she was “extremely disappointed” that Westbrook was treated in such an offensive manner.

The ugly scandal shook the Jazz franchise to its core, and Miller emphasized they “believe in treating people with courtesy and respect as human beings.”

Per The Deseret News:

“I am extremely disappointed that one of our quote fans conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players and you, as the best fans in the NBA,” Miller said, pausing as a sold-out Vivint Arena erupted in applause.

“This shouldn’t happen,” Miller added. “We are not a racist community.”

As he did last year during the playoffs when he blasted Utah for having “vulgar, disrespectful” fans, Westbrook gave a different opinion on Monday after his shouting match with Utahn Shane Keisel. Westbrook accused Keisel of using racist language during Oklahoma City’s win at Utah, and the Thunder guard was videoed cursing and threatening Keisel and his wife in response. Keisel disputes Westbrook’s account.

“Everyone who comes here, visiting teams included, deserves the right and the expectation to be treated with dignity at all times,” Miller said. “When incidents like Monday night happen, it not only affects the player it’s directed at, it also affects our players.

“The other teams are not our enemies. They are our competition. Competition is a good thing. It allows players to showcase their talents, and it allows fans to encourage, appreciate, cheer for and enjoy those who share their talents with us.”

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