Last season, former Jazz fan Shane Keisel famously got into an altercation with than-OKC superstar Russell Westbrook.
In the incident, Keisel apparently made a racially-based insult towards Westbrook during the game (“get down on your knees like you’re used to”), causing Russ to not only stop and cuss out the fan in the moment but basically threaten him in front of everyone.
“I’m going to tell you one thing: I’ll f*** him up if he says that s***again. I promise you,” Westbrook said to a security guard behind the bench at the beginning of the video posted to Twitter. Westbrook then looks toward Keisel. “I promise you. You think I’m playing. I swear to God, I swear to God, I’ll f*** you up. You and your wife, I’ll f*** you up.”
In the investigations that followed, the Jazz issued a lifetime ban on Keisel, forbidding him to return to the arena.
Needless to say, this whole thing went viral, and Keisel was accused of being racist by those online. But, according to Keisel, the racially motivated insult was nothing more than generic hackling.
And now, the guy is claiming the misunderstanding has since messed up his life enough to warrant a $68 million lawsuit.
A man who received a lifetime ban from the Vivint Smart Home Arena in March is suing the Utah Jazz and the Houston Rockets’ Russell Westbrook, claiming he was wrongly accused of shouting racist and derogatory remarks at the professional basketball player.
In a lawsuit filed Monday in 4th District Court, attorneys for Shane Keisel argue that Keisel engaged only in typical crowd behavior when he and his girlfriend Jennifer Huff were subjected to a “tirade” from an “irate” Westbrook, who was then playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The suit states that Keisel's comment was not the same one advertised by Westbrook and the media.
But in the lawsuit, attorneys for Keisel argue that Westbrook misheard or mischaracterized Keisel’s comments, and that Keisel had told Westbrook to wrap his knees to be better able to play later on in the game.
Keisel participated in an interview with KSL after the game, during which he said that he believed his back-and-forth with Westbrook to be in jest until Westbrook began shouting profanity at and threatening Keisel and Huff.
The situation was believed to be over following the lifetime ban. Instead, it ended up being just the beginning of what will no doubt be a brutal court battle.