SALT LAKE CITY — Famously volatile NBA superstar Russell Westbrook went on a profanity-filled tirade during a Monday night NBA game, threatening an avowed MAGA and Donald Trump supporter who has a history of posting racist Tweets.
Westbrook, one of the NBA’s greatest and most popular players, made the threat while standing near the end of the Thunder’s bench during the 2nd quarter of the game, in which his Thunder vanquished the Jazz, 98-89. He repeatedly told the male fan that “I’ll f— you up,” and even added his supposed wife during the emotional response to “completely disrespectful” comments directed toward him.
The video was captured by another fan and posted social media, going viral almost instantly.
Westbrook claims the male fan told him “get down on your knees like you’re used to” and, during a post-game press conference, Westbrook took that comment “racial” and “inappropriate.” He was far from apologetic about the ferocity of his stance. In fact, Westbrook doubled down and defended his actions, saying he would do it all over again if a fan came at him in that manner in the future.
The fan, Shane Keisel, 45, denies he said anything racial or inappropriate to Westbrook.
“He just went nuts,” Keisel told ESPN after the game and said his girlfriend never spoke. “She never got up. She never stood up. She never said a word to him. I mean, it’s all fine, we’re having fun and games with the guy and we’re talking, but at the end of the day, no man should threaten a woman, period.
“I’m not afraid of the guy. Come on up,” Keisel added. “But when you threaten a woman that’s 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, you’re a big man. So this guy needs to be exposed.”
It turns out this fan, Keisel, is the one who is now getting exposed. In less than 12 hours, USA Today revealed Keisel to be an avowed MAGA (Make America Great Again) supporter and Trump disciple, who has posted a series of racist, xenophobic and violent rhetoric on social media. Additionally, Ebony.com published Keisel’s now-deleted tweets taunting Westbrook prior to last nights game:
“Westbrook is a piece of classless sh**. Somebody needs to kick his a**. #tool #poorloser,” Keisel wrote on Twitter in April 2018. Later that season, Keisel tweeted, “Russell Westbrook needs to go back where he came from!! #MAGA.”
Hence, social media ripped into the Utah Jazz brass for reportedly defending Keisel:
— JC’s Dida. (@JDub9911) March 12, 2019
Actress and former “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Claudia Jordan also chimed in with her sizzling sentiments:
LIAR. FOH. No man focused on his game is worried about a fan that's NOT saying some foul off the wall sh*t. I highly doubt #ShaneKeisel was as polite and restrained when he was taunting a man at his job. PLUS he BEEN harassing @russwest44 via Twitter with the racist #MAGA hashtag
— Claudia Jordan (@claudiajordan) March 12, 2019
Fellow Thunder players came out in support of Westbrook. “As men, what do you expect us to do? Shut up and dribble? No one is held accountable for their actions except us. Fans are protected in every way possible but not us,” power forward Patrick Patterson wrote on Twitter.