I know the overwhelming majority of NBA fans haven’t been throwing water bottles, or running onto the court, or spitting on players, ect. But the actions of a few Utah “fans” have caused Ja Morant’s mom to opt out of a complimentary offer to watch her son play on the road. For her, it’s just not worth it.
After three Jazz “fans” hurled racist and sexist insults towards Morant’s parents during Game 2 in Salt Lake City, Jazz owner Ryan Smith was quick to condemn the vitriol. He, alongside Jazz minority owner Dwane Wade and other Jazz players, apologized to the Morant family for the shitty spectator behavior.
The organization banned the three “fans” indefinitely from attending Jazz games as well.
After the taunts, Smith offered the Morrants a courtside seat package with complimentary tickets, car service, and lodging for family and friends for Game 5.
That doesn’t erase what was said, of course. But it’s an act that Morant’s father, Tee, appreciated. “It was a nice gesture from the Jazz,” Tee Morant, who will take Smith’s offer, told ESPN. “It was unfortunate. It was just a few fans — most of them were great and cheering right alongside with us.”
But Jamie, Morant’s mother, will not be in the arena for Game 5 tonight. According to Tee, “she said her anxiety couldn’t take it” after last week’s verbal harassment. Instead, Ja’s mother will watch the game back home near Memphis.
If the Grizzlies manage to win Game 5 on the road, she’ll get to see her son play Game 6 in a more hospitable environment.
But for tonight, it will be Tee and four others courtside in Salt Lake. He’ll cheer for his son proudly, as he is known to do. And if Jazz fans go past playful banter with Tee, well, we’ll all be able to see it on national TV.