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Ja Morant Applauds Jazz for Banning Fans Who Said 'Inappropriate S--t' to His Family

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 28, 2021

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) runs up court during the second half of Game 1 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Add three Utah Jazz supporters to the list of NBA fans who have been banned from attending games in recent days.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the Jazz ejected the fans from Wednesday's Game 2 of Utah's first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies and then banned them indefinitely.

Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune noted the fans were removed for heckling Ja Morant's family.

Morant reacted to the decision by the Jazz, adding that his family should not be subjected to "inappropriate s--t."

Ja Morant @JaMorant

as they should . my family should be able cheer for me & my teammates without getting inappropriate shit said to them πŸ’― https://t.co/CWiJIpkq03

Ja Morant @JaMorant

πŸ’― https://t.co/rqOqDR4P69

Ja Morant @JaMorant

my family told me they felt the love from all the other jazz fans who were around them 🀝 even bought each other drinks with a few. <br><br>those 3 just went too far πŸ’― https://t.co/1XvjXcPVOo

Morant's father, Tee, told Tim MacMahon of ESPN that the fans made "vulgar or racist comments" to the guard's parents.

"I know heckling," Tee said. "But that's different than heckling. That's straight up disrespectful."

MacMahon added more details:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Ja Morant's dad Tee told ESPN that one of the banned Jazz fans said to him: "I'll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy."<br><br>Another made a sexually explicit remark to Ja's mom Jamie. The third told her: "Shut the f--- up, b----."<br><br>ESPN story: https://t.co/vfuuL2EYsq

While teams increasing their attendance capacities during the playoffs has brought back the type of postseason atmospheres that were missing amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there have already been a number of fan-related incidents in the first round.

A Philadelphia 76ers fan dumped popcorn on Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook in Game 2 of that series when the nine-time All-Star was walking down the tunnel after suffering an ankle injury.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Russ got heated after a fan threw popcorn at him pic.twitter.com/XyMRUxUVwc

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

"This s--t is getting out of hand."<br><br>Russ sounds off after a fan dumped popcorn on him in Philly. *NSFW* pic.twitter.com/uWyWCyfR9r

The 76ers announced they revoked the fan's season ticket and banned him from Wells Fargo Center indefinitely.

Elsewhere, a New York Knicks fan spit on Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young during Game 2 of their series. Like the 76ers, the Knicks announced the fan was banned from Madison Square Garden indefinitely.

This isn't even the only Thursday development involving Utah fans.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported a judge dismissed a $100 million lawsuit that fans Shane Keisel and Jennifer Huff filed against Westbrook and the team regarding a 2019 incident.

Those fans were banned from Jazz games after Westbrook said they directed "racial" and "completely disrespectful" language toward him.

On the court, Morant's Grizzlies earned a split in the first two games on the road in Utah. While Memphis lost Game 2, the star point guard poured in 47 points.