The Thunder completed a season sweep of the Jazz on Monday night with a 98-89 win in Utah, but all of the focus after the game was on something that happened in the stands and on the OKC bench.
During the game, Russell Westbrook got into it with a heckler, going off on him by saying, “I’ll f*ck you up. You and your wife.” Video of that verbal altercation, of course, has garnered plenty of attention, with much of the criticism of Westbrook focusing on his bringing the wife into his threat.
Of course, the video only shows what Westbrook says in response and not what the fan says, but after the game his teammate Patrick Patterson detailed what the fan said to set Russ off. Westbrook was asked about the incident by reporters, and confirmed Patterson’s account of what happened and explained why he felt that crossed a line for him.
“How it started was, a young man and his wife in the stands told me ‘to get down on my knees like you’re used to.’ And for me that’s just completely disrespectful to me. I think it’s racial. I think it’s just inappropriate in a sense that there’s no protection for the players. I think there’s a lot of great fans around the world that like to come to the game and enjoy the game. There are fans that come to the game to say mean disrespectful things about me and my family. For many years I’ve done all the right things. I’ve never done anything to hurt or harm anybody. I’ve never been in any trouble. I’ve never fought a fan. Been in the league 11 years. Clean slate…
“Disrespect will not be taken for me. I’m completely just…sit back sometimes and take it like this. That’s just one video, but throughout the whole game, since I’ve been here, especially here in Utah, every time I come here there’s a lot of disrespectful things said. For me, I’m just not going to continue to take the disrespect for my family and I just think that there’s got to be something done, there’s got to be some consequences for those types of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I don’t think it’s fair to the players, not just to me, but to the players. If I had to do it over again, I would say the same exact thing because I will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time…As for beating up his wife, I’ve never put my hand on a woman. I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before and never have, but once he said the comment his wife repeated it.”
It will be interesting to see how the league handles this, but Westbrook is clearly fed up with hecklers saying disrespectful things to him.