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Utah Jazz Owner Tells Fans ‘We Are Not a Racist Community’

The arena’s “code of conduct” apparently wasn’t enough for the player or the fan to stay out of trouble.

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Basketball

Last week a player got in a yelling match with a fan during a Utah Jazz game. The player claimed the fan yelled racist things at him, and after the game fan was banned for life from arena. After it was all said and done, the owner of the Jazz took a few moments to address the crowd before Saturday’s game.

Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller assured those in attendance that Utah is “not a racist community” in the wake of an incident with Oklahoma City Thunder player Russell Westbrook.

Ahead of the match between the Jazz and the Timberwolves at Vivint Smart Home Arena, Miller took the mic to tell those in attendance that she abhors the incident between the player and a Jazz fan, TMZ reported.

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“I am extremely disappointed that one of our, quote, ‘fans’ conducted himself in such a way as to offend not only a guest in our arena, but also me personally, my family, our organization, the community, our players, and you as the best fans in the NBA,” Miller said over the mic.

“This should never happen. We are not a racist community,” she added.

Miller also pointed out that there is a “code of conduct” in the arena and she intends to strictly enforce it.

“No one wins when respect goes away,” Miller told the crowd.

The incident that sparked Miller’s reply occurred on March 11 when Russell Westbrook threatened to beat up a Jazz fan in the stands.

At the end of the second quarter, Westbrook began shouting from the bench at a fan in the stands. A video of the incident show Westbrook repeatedly saying, “I’ll f*ck you up! You and your wife!”

Westbrook insisted that the fan was yelling racist taunts at him and he refused to apologize for threatening the fan. He was later fined $25k for “directing profanity and threatening language to a fan.”

For his part, the fan involved in the altercation, Shane Keisel, denied that he swore at Westbrook or made any type of inappropriate racial comment. He has been banned for life, anyway.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

 

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Hockey Coach Who’s Speech About National Anthem Went Viral Doubles Down On Remarks

The sports world needs more coaches like this guy.

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John Krupinsky, a hockey coach who recently went viral after he demanded his players respect the National Anthem, isn’t backing down from his remarks, stating the reason he’s passionate about this issue is that he’s seen too much death and disrespect. In the video in question, Krupinsky — who also serves as a police sergeant, says, “If there’s anybody here who is going to be disrespectful to either the American or the Canadian national anthem, grab your gear and get the f*** out now because you’ll never see the ice in this arena. We don’t have that problem in hockey. We’re better than that, but there was no sense in wasting anybody’s time if that s*** was going to happen.” Here’s more from TheBlaze: The assistant coach for the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Hockey League discussed the video on “Fox & Friends.” “I take pride in my country,” Krupinksy said. “I’ve unfortunately seen it cover too many coffins. I think we can take a timeout to give two minutes’ worth of respect to our soldiers, to our firemen, to your policemen. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I’m not going to apologize for asking players to show a little bit of respect when it’s either the American or Canadian national anthem.” He added, “Some people said, ‘Oh you wouldn’t let your players protest.’ I wanna be clear: My players would be free to protest on their day off. If they had something they wanted to do.” When the national anthem is playing, however, it’s an entirely different story. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask your employees to show some respect for the flag and for the country,” he reasoned. The world of sports absolutely needs more men like Krupinsky to help balance out all the…

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Good Guy Shaquille O’Neal Sees Single Mother’s Social Media Post, Leaps into Action

Shaquille O’Neal was know for being a fierce competitor in the NBA, but it’s his big heart that has been on display this week.

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Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O’Neal may be one of the biggest basketball stars of all time, literally and figuratively, but that doesn’t mean that he’s forgotten where he came from. This week, word of O’Neal’s goodwill was spreading rapidly via social media, after the former pro athlete took the plight of one single mother to heart. Zach Keith, a 13-year-old middle school student who plays basketball and football, already wears a size 18 shoe. As the American average male shoe size is a 10.5, his mother, Brittany, finds it difficult not only to find a pair of shoes that will fit her son, but also a pair that she’s able to afford. Brittany, who is a single mom, posted a plea for help for her 6’2″-tall son on Instagram, writing, “if you can do anything to help I will be so appreciative.” Shaq then sprung into action. Upon learning of the family’s situation, CNN affiliate WGCL in Atlanta reached out to Shaquille O’Neal, who was more than happy to have the opportunity to pay it forward. “I reminisced back how that used to be me, my mom and my dad,” O’Neal told WGCL of Zach’s story. When O’Neal was trying to find size 18 penny loafers for his prom ensemble, his father eventually found Friedman’s Shoes in Atlanta. The owner of the shoe store, Bruce Teilhaber, gave Shaq a pair of shoes for free and ever since O’Neal, now a size 22, has frequented his business. “Bruce did it for me, and I just want to return the favor,” O’Neal said. O’Neal surprised Zach and his family at Friedman’s. There, Shaq generously bought the teenager ten pairs of shoes. The gesture overwhelmed young Zach, who was both surprised and extremely thankful for the help.

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