SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey said the team is planning "something that's heartfelt" in response to Monday night's incident between Russell Westbrook and a Jazz fan.
Westbrook, who was the subject of fan verbal lashings during last season’s playoff series, was involved in a heated incidentwith a Jazz fan that led to the franchise issuing a permanent ban of that fan, Shane Keisel.
Lindsey told USA Today that he had a sleepless night after the game and that he apologized to Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti.
"People may say, 'Hey, whatever, what the fan said was a small thing.' Well, it's not," Lindsey said. "What it does is make everyone feel small, and every Caucasian should take a look at themselves and look at their heart."
Lindsey went on to explain how his experience as kid growing up and a tragic moment in college shapes how he feels about people from different ethnic backgrounds.
Jazz coach Quin Snyder said he is confident that the next unfortunate situation will end with a better result as behind-the-scenes moves are being made.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the NBA asked all of its teams to create a PSA to stress “importance of respect and civility in NBA arenas.”
The Utah Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
A few hours before the game, the Jazz sent an email to season ticket holders stressing the importance of civility from its fans, as well as the responsibility fans and the organization have in representing the Jazz and the community "in the right way."
"The Utah Jazz will strictly enforce the NBA Fan Code of Conduct with zero tolerance," the letter said.
"We do not permit hate speech, racism, sexism or homophobia. We also do not allow disruptive behavior, including bullying, foul or abusive language, or obscene gestures. Violators may be subject to ejection and other penalties, including a lifetime ban."8 comments on this story
The letter emphasized to season ticket holders that they are accountable for whoever uses their seats — whether it's the season ticket holder or not — and that any violation of the code of conduct could result in the Jazz revoking their season tickets.
The letter also called on fans to report any behavior that breaks the code of conduct, while also showing their support in a positive way.
"We all have a responsibility to respect the game of basketball and, more importantly, each other as human beings," the letter said.
Read the full email below: