Back in March, Russell Westbrook got into a verbal altercation with a fan while playing in Utah. According to Westbrook, the fan used racist language, and the Jazz decided to issue a lifetime ban. That fan is now suing the Jazz and Westbrook for $100 million.
The American judicial system is broken. We’ll leave that discussion for more educated people on the matter, but to be able to make it an even $100 million randomly is absurd. Back to the events in the arena – Westbrook said that the fan had made racially charged remarks, telling him to “get down on your knees like you used to.”
In his suit, Mr. Shane Keisel, claims he did trash talk Westbrook, but that it was in line with appropriate language used by him and other fans around him. The lawsuit claims that Westbrook responded with a “tirade” against Keisel and his girlfriend, Jennifer Huff, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, which obtained a copy of the filing.
“The crowd was shocked by the ferocity of Mr. Westbrook’s outburst when he had only been told to take care of his knees.”
Westbrook was standing at the sidelines with ice wrapped around both his knees when a comment was made. The Jazz conducted an investigation that included a video review and interviews with other fans and staffers who witnessed the event. After the investigation was done, the Jazz decided to issue the ban for “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse directed at a player.”
This will now be challenged in court as Mr. Keisel wants $68 million and his girlfriend, who was also involved in the back-and-forth with Westbrook, $32 million for defamation and emotional distress. That’s a whole lot of emotional distress.