A Utah Jazz fan named Shane Keisel became famous last night when he heckled Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook, goading Westbrook into a profane and threatening response. The Utah Jazz announced today that Keisel has been permanently banned from the team’s home arena, due to the “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” he directed at Westbrook.
Below is the team’s official statement on the matter:
After the game, Westbrook claimed that he only got upset because Keisel, along with his wife, had shouted, “Get down on your knees like you used to,” which Westbrook interpreted as a racist comment. Two of Westbrook’s teammates, Patrick Patterson and Raymond Felton, also said they heard the comment from Keisel.
Keisel, in a smug and condescending interview with a local TV station, denied saying anything racist or profane to Westbrook. While wearing a camouflage-printed Jazz hat, Keisel said that Westbrook was “acting a fool,” and described him as “classless”:
As noted by Heavy.com, Keisel used to work for the Utah Highway Patrol, but is now a car salesman. On his employee page, Keisel explained his career switch:
I recently switched jobs from being on the Utah Highway Patrol, to selling Toyotas, and it has been a very good move for me. While I loved serving the people of Utah by keeping the highways safe, I now enjoy helping the people of Utah have the best car buying experience possible.
The team’s statement says that their decision to ban Keisel was based on a thorough review of video evidence and eyewitness accounts.