Utah Jazz fan Shane Keisel said Tuesday he's planning to file a lawsuit against Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook following a verbal altercation during Monday night's game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
Keisel told Felicia Martinez of KSL TV he's been advised to shut down his social media accounts ahead of potential legal action and denied there was any racist language directed toward Westbrook. He also said his family has received death threats since the altercation.
"I don't care. He can threaten me all he wants," he said. "I was the one talking to him ... but don't threaten a woman. She's 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, man. Never said a word to him."
Eric Woodyard of the Deseret News provided video of Westbrook making a threat in the direction of Keisel and his wife, but other comments from the exchange aren't audible (some language NSFW):
Afterward, Westbrook said Keisel told him to "get down on your knees like you're used to," which he considered "racial" and "inappropriate," and told reporters that's what led to his response during the game:
"And if I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time. I expect anybody else to do the same. So that's kind of where I'm at with the whole situation. As for beating up his wife, I have never put my hand on a woman; I never will. Never been in any domestic violence before. Never have before, but once he said the comment, his wife repeated the same thing to me as well. So that's kind of how that started. I know you guys only got the tail end of the video, but the start of the video is way more important and way more disrespectful than what you guys heard."
Keisel told Martinez he said "sit down and ice your knees, bro" and none of his comments toward Westbrook were race-based.
The Jazz announced the fan was permanently banned from the arena following an investigation:
National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts provided a comment about the situation to The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears:
The NBA has yet to announce whether Westbrook will face punishment.