Sports | December 17, 2019 10:01 am

Banned Jazz Fan Who Told Russell Westbrook to “Get on Knees” Files $100M Lawsuit

Shane Keisel is making claims of defamation and infliction of emotional distress

Russell Westbrook Hit With Lawsuit
Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty)
Getty Images

A Jazz fan who was given a lifetime ban from attending games in Utah for hurling “excessive and derogatory verbal abuse” at Russell Westbrook has filed a $100 million lawsuit against the All-Star guard and the team, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

In his lawsuit, Shane Keisel argues that he, along with his girlfriend Jennifer Huff, were subjected to an unwarranted “tirade” from an “irate” Westbrook (who was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the time).

Following the exchange, which was captured on video and circulated on social media, Westbrook said he was provoked by Keisel telling him to “get down on your knees like you used to.”

In his lawsuit, Keisel argues he told Westbrook to get medical treatment on his knees and was not making a racist remark.

“Mr. Keisel’s heckling was of the same kind and caliber as that of the other audience members in the section,” according to the lawsuit. “The crowd was shocked by the ferocity of Mr. Westbrook’s outburst when he had only been told to take care of his knees, albeit in a mocking manner that implied he would need to use them extensively to ensure his team’s victory.”

In addition to being banned from attending Jazz games, Keisel was fired from his job after a public campaign in the wake of the video going viral. As a result, the suit is seeking financial damages ($68 million for Keisel and $32 million for Huff) on claims of defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

In the wake of the Jazz banning Keisel for life, the Boston Celtics issued a two-year ban to a fan who was involved in a similar altercation with DeMarcus Cousins.

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