Sports | March 8, 2022 12:27 pm

Why Are Russell Westbrook and His Family Receiving Death Threats?

Lakers "fans" have seemingly crossed a point with the basketball star and his family, who say they are being harassed on a daily basis

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on March 01, 2022 in Los Angeles, California
Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena on March 01, 2022.
Ronald Martinez/Getty

Russell Westbrook is not having his best year. Nor are the Los Angeles Lakers.

But disappointment and even booing from fans is turning into much worse behavior, as Nina Westbrook posted recently on Twitter. After calling out Skip Bayless from Fox Sports for “extremely childish” behavior toward her husband, Nina Westbrook touched on a greater issue — the safety of her family.

“When I’m being harassed on a daily basis over basketball games, and I’m having obscenity’s and death wishes for me and my family sent my way because you’re expressing your ‘truth’, it’s hard for me to get on board with that,” she tweeted.

After a loss to the San Antonio Spurs last week, Russell Westbrook opened up about his rough year, noting that he supports what his wife said “100%” and adding a lot of context and thought to the verbal abuse he’s faced (it’s also not the first time he’s had to deal with petulant fans). “This is just a game. Not my entire life,” he said. “I just kind of want it out there because once it starts to affect my family, my wife, and, even today, my mother said something about it … it affects them going to games.” (To be clear, Westbrook was seemingly referencing name-calling as opposed to violent threats.)

Here’s a simple idea: If you’re disappointed with the Lakers, well, so are they. And it’s OK to be critical of Westbrook (we certainly have been). But a player’s family should never feel threatened because of (as Westbrook said) “a game.”