Last night a video went viral showing Oklahoma City Thunder Point Guard Russell Westbrook threatening a fan.
Before rushing to judgment over Westbrook’s comments it’s important to take a look at the whole situation. I say that because I HIGHLY doubt that Westbrook just went off, the fan obviously said something to trigger such a strong reaction. I saw rumors on social that said that Westbrook will most likely suffer a suspension for his harsh words, but what about the fan?
If the NBA is going to punish Westbrook for his outburst (rightfully so), then the Utah Jazz need to punish the fan. It’s not fair for fans to get to say whatever they want to the players and the players just have to take it.
Now I’m all for trash talking opposing players, but like only around their play on the court. Racially motivated comments, wives, girlfriends, family, or anything off the court is completely off limits because really what does that have to do with basketball? Absolutely nothing. So if a fan is going to bring in one of those off limits topics in their trash talking the fan should be punished as well because really there is no room for that in the league.
(Stepping off my soap box)
Now back to the Westbrook incident, thanks to the glorious internet people were able to learn more about the fan involved in the incident which helps in getting both sides of the story. Back in the day Westbrook would’ve just been labeled a problem/bully for the incident, but now people were able to learn more about the fan which only helps fans understand why Westbrook was so harsh with said fan. So if the fan has a history of saying things it wouldn’t be too far out of the realm that what Westbrook said happened did actually happen.
So what happens now? Well obviously the NBA will suspend Westbrook for the outburst. But the league also needs to take a hard look at how they are going to protect players, so often they side with the fans (because they hold the $$ cards) and leave the players out to dry. Which isn’t fair because the NBA wouldn’t have the fans without stars like Westbrook to get fans into the seats.
So suspend Westbrook all you want, but until the league starts holding fans accountable for their actions in the game this kinda nonsense is going to keep happening.