By Austin Payne
Remember last season when that fan got banned from the Jazz home arena for shouting supposed racist obscenities at Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook? Apparently, there’s now a lawsuit involved. (Details)
Shane Keisel, the fan involved in the verbal altercation with Russell Westbrook, is seeking up to $100 million dollars worth of damages from both the parties of the Utah Jazz, and Westbrook himself. The damages claimed are supposedly for emotional and personal distress, along with defamation.
Keisel has lost two of his jobs throughout this process after the banning took place, as well as suffered through people obtaining his address and being forced to change the locks on their families home. As if these overlooked issues weren’t enough, the family has been plagued by those whom recognized him, we suppose locals or loyal Jazz Fans, attempting to photograph he and his family when seen.
Despite the validity of all his sufferings, it’s fair to firstly ask…$100 million? I’m of course no lawyer or law major, but i don’t see any scenario where all of the trouble he’s endured for several months could total this amount. Although we do understand that defamation and emotional distress are entities that cannot exactly have an accurate price put on them, it seems unlikely they would achieve such a lofty amount. (More details)
Secondly we consider the claims that he makes pertaining to the incident itself, saying that Westbrook actually misinterpreted his words and portrayed them to the media as having had racial connotations, when in fact Keisel claims that they did not. The remarks in question are reportedly that of Keisel shouting to Westbrook to “get down on your knees like you used to” where as the defendant claims his words were something along the lines of “wrap your knees like you need to” to, supposedly, play better later in the game. While this is very possible, it’s impossible to know without being the man himself, or possibly Russell Westbrook.
Though we have not heard from Westbrook or any representatives as of yet, and thus haven’t heard anything eluding to the potential of him having misheard the fan, we are only left to assume. All this in mind, Jazz fans have a reputation for being a bit…brash or, turbulent if you will, to opposing teams, especially in their rivalry with the Thunder.
It will be truly interesting to see how this plays out and just how quickly it gets dissolved, but i see it as unlikely that it achieves the defendants desired result.