SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two Jazz fans against the Utah Jazz Russell Westbrook after being banned from Vivint Arena following a verbal confrontation with Westbrook in March of 2019, court documents say.
In the lawsuit filed, Shane Keisel claims that language he and his girlfriend, Jennifer Huff, used toward Westbrook was “the same kind and caliber as that of the other audience members in the section” — and not racist and derogatory, as the then-Oklahoma City Thunder star alleged at the time.
The lawsuit sought $100 million in damages on claims of defamation and emotional distress, per the lawsuit obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.
After an OKC win, video of Westbrook saying, “I’ll f— you up” to Keisel and Huff while standing near the end of the Thunder bench went viral. Westbrook said it was an emotional reaction to Keisel telling him, “Get on your knees like you’re used to,” a comment Westbrook considered “completely disrespectful” and “racial.”
Keisel claimed at the time that he told Westbrook to “ice those knees up,” and in Monday’s lawsuit, he reiterated that what he said to Westbrook was mischaracterized. He added that his family has been harassed and that he has lost work since the incident.
The Jazz banned Keisel permanently in March of 2019. The NBA fined Westbrook $25,000 “for directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”